Canada West Introduces Top Prospects

Unsurprisingly David Onyemata is the cream of the Canada West crop according to coaches from the conference’s six football programs, as the defensive lineman tops the inaugural Canada West CFL prospect rankings released Monday.

The Nigerian born lineman, who was selected 120th overall by the New Orleans Saints in this past weekend’s NFL Draft, has been deemed the top Canada West prospect ahead of next Tuesday’s CFL Draft.

Voted on by coaches from the conference’s six football programs, the Canada West CFL prospect rankings provide a glimpse into how Canada West coaches view the top draft eligible players, with 15 players named to the list.

After topping the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final draft rankings last month and enjoying a dominant 2015 season, which saw him earn the J.P. Metras Award as the top CIS down lineman, it comes as no surprise that Onyemata is ranked No. 1.

Onyemata earned all five first place votes available to him (coaches didn’t vote for their own players), but where he will go in the CFL Draft remains a mystery, as his selection in the NFL Draft means a CFL team will have to play an extended wait and see game with respect to his availability.

Tight race for second

There was virtually no separation between the pair of players behind Onyemata in the race for second, as UBC Thunderbird defensive back Taylor Loffler edged fellow DB Elie Bouka of the Calgary Dinos for the spot.

Both Loffler and Bouka finished with 98 points in the rankings, with Loffler earning the tiebreaker thanks to more first place votes (one) compared to Bouka, who was signed this past weekend by the Arizona Cardinals following the NFL Draft.

Slotting in behind Loffler and Bouka is Calgary running back Mercer Timmis, who is the lone running back in the rankings – just as he was in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s April rankings.

Timmis’ rank behind his teammate Bouka is the lone difference between the Canada West rankings and CFL Scouting Bureau rankings in terms of ordering the top four Canada West prospects, as the CFL list featured Onyemata (No. 1), Loffler (No. 11), Timmis (No. 13) and Bouka (No. 18).

Hardy Cup finalists dominate rankings

Along with Loffler, Bouka and Timmis, plenty of other T-Birds and Dinos are on the 15-player list, as last year’s Hardy Cup finalists landed a total of 10 players in the rankings.

UBC’s Terrell Davis (No. 4 – LB), Quinn van Gylswyk (No. 5 – K/P), Dominique Termansen (No. 9 – DB), and Boyd Richardson (No. 10 – DL) all made the list, while Calgary’s Brett Blaszko (No. 7 – WR), Michael Schmidt (No. 12 – DB), and Hunter Turnbull (No. 15 – DB) were also recognized.

Canada West players in the CFL Draft

In total 13 Canada West players were selected in last year’s CFL Draft, including three players in the first round (2nd / OL / Sukh Chungh / Calgary Dinos / Winnipeg Blue Bombers; 3rd / OL / Sean McEwen / Calgary Dinos / Toronto Argonauts; 6th / REC / Nic Demski / Manitoba Bisons / Saskatchewan Roughriders).

Canada West’s 13 CFL draftees in 2015 was tied with Ontario University Athletics for the most in the nation. Over the last three years a total of 38 Canada West players have been selected in the CFL Draft.

Complete rankings

Rank (Points) – Name / Position / School / Hometown
1. (105) – David Onyemata / DL / Manitoba / Lagos, Nigeria
2. (98*) – Taylor Loffler / DB / UBC / Kelowna, BC
3. (98) – Elie Bouka / DB / Calgary / Laval, QC
4. (93) – Mercer Timmis / RB / Calgary / Burlington, ON
5. (87) – Terrell Davis / LB / UBC / Victoria, BC
6. (83) – Quinn van Gylswyk / KP / UBC / Victoria, BC
7. (81) – Brett Blaszko / REC / Calgary / Burlington, ON
8. (78) – DJ Lalama / LB / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
9. (64) – Dominique Termansen / DB / UBC / North Vancouver, BC
10. (63) – Boyd Richardson / DL / UBC / Regina, SK
11. (58) – Alex Vitt / REC / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
12. (57) – Michael Schmidt / DB / Calgary / Calgary, AB
13. (54) – Mason Rossler / DB / Regina / Regina, SK
14. (50) – Alex McKay / OL / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
15. (48) – Hunter Turnbull / DB / Calgary / Calgary, AB

A total of 21 players were submitted by coaches for the rankings, with a first place vote being worth 21 points, a second place vote worth 20 points etc.

*Higher number of first place votes used as tiebreaker