Of all the players to watch, Dunk says don’t miss 6-foot-2, 300-pound Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke
OTTAWA (Courtesy: Jeff Krever, CFL) – The draft is in the books but for Canadian Football League teams there’s no time to rest.
A new draft year has kicked off in Montreal with a week of events culminating in the 14th annual CIS East-West Bowl on Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m. ET at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.
The prospects game will be hosted by McGill University for the second straight season, highlighting many of the country’s top draft-eligible players for the 2017 CFL Draft.
The 2016 edition included three days of practices which started on Wednesday, a combine for participating players and a CFL free-agent camp, as well as the traditional banquet.
The East squad is comprised – for the most part – of players from the AUS and RSEQ conferences, in addition to Carleton, Ottawa and Queen’s. The West contingent is made up of student-athletes from the Canada West conference and the remaining OUA universities.
For fans looking to get a sneak peek at the top prospects for next year’s CFL Draft, there’s no better place than the East-West Bowl. All four CIS standout selected in the first round of Tuesday night’s Draft participated in last year’s showcase, including Laval offensive lineman Philippe Gagnon (second overall), Acadia wide receiver Brian Jones (fourth) as well as two more Laval O-linemen, Charles Vaillancourt (fifth) and Jason Lauzon-Seguin (seventh).
Queen’s receiver Doug Corby meanwhile was selected in the sixth round by the Edmonton Eskimos, after last year dominating in the East-West Bowl with a record-setting three touchdown receptions and 131 yards through the air.
In all, 29 of the 53 CIS players picked in the 2016 CFL Draft participated in last year’s East-West Bowl, including six chosen in the first two rounds, four from the third round and six in the fourth round.
For the players, this is the time to start turning heads
“It’s the first time scouts focus on the top CIS prospects in the 2017 CFL Draft class,” said CFL.ca insider Justin Dunk. “First impressions are always important.”
St. Francis Xavier pivot Dante Djan and Guelph quarterback James Roberts will lead the East while Manitoba’s 6-foot-5 gunslinger Theo Deezar will take control of the West offence along with McMaster pivot Asher Hastings.
Hastings, a Regina native, will be one to watch this weekend after averaging 323.3 yards per game last fall (fifth in the CIS) and leading the country with a CIS single-season record 31 TD passes.
Carleton’s Nathaniel Behar, McMaster’s Danny Vandervoort and Saskatchewan’s Mitch Hillis will likely be common targets on Saturday, especially Hillis — the CIS leader in receptions with 66 in 2015 and ranked third in yards (1,052) and yards per game (131.5).
Also put Laval offensive lineman Jean-Simon Roy in the category of players to watch after a total of five Rouge et Or O-linemen were selected in the first round of the last two drafts, most recently Gagnon, Vaillancourt and Lauzon-Seguin. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder, who tied for the lead in the bench press at Wednesday’s combine with 36 repetitions of 225 pounds, will be difficult to beat for anyone on the West side, including Laurier’s Kwaku Boateng, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound lineman who had four sacks and nine tackles for a loss in 2015, the latter good for ninth in the country.
Of all the players to watch, Dunk says don’t miss 6-foot-2, 300-pound Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke. He didn’t dominate on the stat sheet by any means last fall with 7.5 tackles in eight league games but is an imposing figure on the D-line.
“He’s a big, athletic load on the defensive line,” said Dunk of the 2015 Mitchell Bowl MVP. “Agile for a 300-plus pounder. He can stuff the run and rush the passer at the CIS level.”
Returning to coach the East for a second straight season is Montreal Carabins bench boss and former Grey Cup-winning head coach Danny Maciocia, who led the East to a 29-21 win a year ago at Molson Stadium after guiding Montreal to the first CIS national championship in program history in 2014. Maciocia has coached the Carabins in back-to-back Vanier Cup appearances.
He’ll be opposed by Blake Nill, who will coach the West after directing the UBC Thunderbirds to their first Vanier Cup triumph since 1997, with a thrilling 26-23 win over Maciocia’s Carabins last fall in Quebec City.
The East has won the last two Bowl games and five of the past six. However, the West still leads the all-time series 7-6.
EAST-WEST BOWL RESULTS:
2015 (at McGill): East 29, West 21
2014 (at Western): East 19, West 12
2013 (at Western): West 18, East 17
2012 (at Western): East 24, West 16
2011 (at Western): East 34, West 27 (OT)
2010 (at Western): East 12, West 9
2009 (at Western): West 16, East 7
2008 (at McMaster): East 25, West 12
2007 (at Laval): West 22, East 19 (OT)
2006 (at Laval): West 34, East 26 (OT)
2005 (at Laurier): West 34, East 16
2004 (at Laurier): West 21, East 12
2003 (at Laurier): West 10, East 5
2016 EAST-WEST BOWL ROSTERS
Pos. Name University HT WT Hometown
QB Dante Djan StFX 6-4 230 Calgary, Alta.
QB James Roberts Guelph 6-0 185 Cambridge, Ont.
RB Antony Auclair Laval 6-6 254 Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que.
RB Jamall Hyman-Hamilton Bishop’s 6-0 205 Toronto, Ont.
RB Jonah Pataki Queen’s 6-0 205 Wallaceburg, Ont.
RB Sean Thomas-Erlington Montreal 5-9 210 Montreal, Que.
RB Oumar Touré Sherbrooke 6-4 235 Montreal, Que.
REC Nate Behar Carleton 6-0 200 London, Ont.
REC Dakota Brush Mount Allison 6-4 230 Brantford, Ont.
REC Ryan Dunaway York 6-5 210 Burlington, Ont.
REC Keon Hughes StFX 6-3 220 Mississauga, Ont.
REC Félix Lechasseur Laval 6-3 190 Quebec City, Que.
REC Matt McDougall Western 6-3 192 Belleville, Ont.
REC Blair McKay Waterloo 5-10 190 Waterford, Ont.
REC Jean-Raphaël Moisan Sherbrooke 6-1 200 St-Raymond, Que.
OL Kwabena Asare Carleton 6-8 270 Brampton, Ont.
OL Antoine Demers Sherbrooke 6-3 290 Repentigny, Que.
OL Marc Glaude Montreal 6-2 310 Beaconsfield, Que.
OL Andre Goguen Mount Allison 6-1 315 Moncton, N.B.
OL Daniel Hayes Queen’s 6-4 335 Waterloo, Ont.
OL Marcus MacIsaac Saint Mary’s 6-3 275 Elmsdale, N.S.
OL Jean-Simon Roy Laval 6-3 290 Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury, Que.
OL Qadr Spooner McGill 6-3 295 Brossard, Que.
DL Émile Charron-Ligez Montreal 6-2 265 Montreal, Que.
DL Edward Godin Laval 6-2 250 Quebec City, Que.
DL Junior Luke Montreal 6-2 300 Montreal, Que.
DL Adam Melanson Acadia 6-2 290 Kentville, N.S.
DL Sam Narkaj Concordia 6-1 295 Toronto, Ont.
DL Kay Okafor StFX 6-4 265 Enugu, Nigeria
DL Zac Sauer Queen’s 6-3 231 Ayr, Ont.
LB Leon Cenerini Carleton 5-10 220 La Salle, Man.
LB Alex Cromer-Émond Montreal 5-8 205 Price, Que.
LB Eric Gracioppo McGill 6-2 234 Montreal, Que.
LB Keith Graham Carleton 6-0 210 Halifax, N.S.
LB Étienne Morin Bishop’s 5-9 200 Saint-Ludger, Que.
DB Ty Cranston Ottawa 6-3 205 Winnipeg, Man.
DB Nathaniel Hamlin Carleton 6-1 205 Ottawa, Ont.
DB Harland Hastings Acadia 5-11 185 Calgary, Alta.
DB Justin Holland StFX 6-1 190 Parksville, B.C.
DB Kevin Myrthil Saint Mary’s 5-9 185 Montreal, Que.
DB Andreas Robinson Saint Mary’s 6-0 175 Dartmouth, N.S.
DB Devante Sampson Mount Allison 5-8 170 Mississauga, Ont.
DB Anthony Tanguay Sherbrooke 5-11 180 Saint-Georges, Que.
DB Charles-William Tremblay McGill 5-9 206 Quebec City, Que.
K Lewis Ward Ottawa 5-7 175 Kingston, Ont.
Originally selected but unable to participate:
REC Moy Mc Donald McGill 5-11 178 Brossard, Que.
LB Frédéric Chagnon Montreal 6-4 240 Montreal, Que.
DB Alex Hovington Laval 6-0 180 Montreal, Que.
Head Coach: Danny Maciocia (Montreal)
Offensive Coordinator & Running Backs: Adamo Iadeluca (Montreal)
Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs: Fabrice Raymond (Montreal)
Special Teams Coordinator: Kevin Mackey (Bishop’s)
Quarterbacks: Alex Vertullo (Queen’s)
Receivers: Steve Snyder (St. Francis Xavier)
Offensive Line: Kyle Handy (Bishop’s)
Offensive Line: Alain Mainguy (McGill)
Defensive Line: Glen Constantin (Laval)
Linebackers: Mickey Donovan (Concordia)
Pos. Name University HT WT Hometown
QB Theo Deezar Manitoba 6-5 230 Winnipeg, Man.
QB Asher Hastings McMaster 6-4 218 Regina, Sask.
RB Johnny Augustine Guelph 5-10 210 Welland, Ont.
RB Alex Christie Manitoba 5-9 195 Thorold, Ont.
RB Ed Ilnicki Alberta 5-10 215 Spruce Grove, Alta.
RB Stefano Napolitano Carleton 6-1 255 Stittsville, Ont.
REC Tylor Henry Alberta 5-11 184 Camrose, Alta.
REC Mitch Hillis Saskatchewan 6-0 185 Saskatoon, Sask.
REC Jonathan Mack McGill 6-0 208 St-Lambert, Que.
REC Alex Morrison UBC 6-4 220 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
REC Mitchell Picton Regina 6-3 200 Regina, Sask.
REC Adam Sinclair Western 5-11 197 London, Ont.
REC Danny Vandervoort McMaster 6-2 200 Barrie, Ont.
REC Aundrey Webster Alberta 5-10 185 Edmonton, Alta.
OL Brett Boersma Windsor 6-5 310 Camlachie, Ont.
OL Matt Degelman Regina 6-3 265 Regina, Sask.
OL Jordan Filippelli Calgary 6-5 310 Sherwood Park, Alta.
OL Geoff Gray Manitoba 6-6 310 Winnipeg, Man.
OL Evan Johnson Saskatchewan 6-4 265 Regina, Sask.
OL Jean-Christophe Labrecque Montreal 6-0 290 Quebec City, Que.
OL Braden Schram Calgary 6-5 290 Manning, Alta.
OL Danny Sprukulis Toronto 6-5 315 Oakville, Ont.
DL Kwaku Boateng Laurier 6-2 240 Milton, Ont.
DL Fabion Foote McMaster 6-2 290 North York, Ont.
DL Evan Foster Manitoba 6-1 240 Chilliwack, B.C.
DL Mark Mackie McMaster 6-2 262 London, Ont.
DL Connor McGough Calgary 6-2 251 Medicine Hat, Alta.
DL Jalen Price Laurier 6-5 325 Hamilton, Ont.
LB Brandon Calver Laurier 6-3 220 London, Ont.
LB Brittley Mokube Toronto 6-0 212 Brampton, Ont.
LB Nakas Onyeka Laurier 5-11 213 Brampton, Ont.
LB Nikita Starchenko York 6-4 230 Whitby, Ont.
LB Michael Stefanovic Regina 5-10 210 Moose Jaw, Sask.
LB Marcel Ugoh Windsor 6-2 200 Brampton, Ont.
LB Corey Williams Toronto 6-2 232 Mississauga, Ont.
DB Tunde Adeleke Carleton 5-10 190 Ottawa, Ont.
DB Samuel Drapeau Montreal 6-0 185 Montreal, Que.
DB Orion Edwards Guelph 5-9 182 Newmarket, Ont.
DB Matt Gayer Windsor 5-9 190 Leamington, Ont.
DB Richard Gillespie Toronto 5-9 190 Whitby, Ont.
DB Jordan Hoover Waterloo 6-2 190 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
DB Adam Laurensse Calgary 6-1 185 Sherwood Park, Alta.
DB Kevin Wiens UBC 6-1 200 Mission, B.C.
DB Robert Woodson Calgary 5-11 181 Calgary, Alta.
K Félix Ménard-Brière Montreal 5-10 180 Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que.
Originally selected but unable to participate:
REC Jacob Scarfone Guelph 6-1 200 London, Ont.
REC Rashaun Simonise Calgary 6-5 190 Vancouver, B.C.
OL Cody Speller McMaster 6-3 295 Caistor Centre, Ont.
DL Cory Robinson Calgary 6-3 260 Airdrie, Alta.
DB Jesse McNair Western 5-11 186 London, Ont.
Head Coach: Blake Nill (UBC)
Offensive Coordinator & Running Backs: Mark Surya (Wilfrid Laurier)
Defensive Coordinator: Dwayne Cameron (Wilfrid Laurier)
Special Teams Coordinator: Paul Orazietti (UBC)
Quarterbacks: Michael Faulds (Wilfrid Laurier)
Receivers: Mark McConkey (Regina)
Offensive Line: Scott Flory (Saskatchewan)
Defensive Line: Kevin Eiben (Toronto)
Linebackers: Adam Grandy (Guelph)
Defensive Backs: Donnavan Carter (Guelph)