Laurier's Kwaku Boateng (left) participates in last month's CFL Combine in Regina (Photo Credit: Arthur Ward - CFL.ca)
TORONTO (U SPORTS) – Geoff Gray, an offensive lineman from the University of Manitoba, is the top-ranked U SPORTS player on the third and final prospect list released by the CFL’s Scouting Bureau in advance of the league’s 2017 Canadian Draft.
In total, 13 U SPORTS standouts cracked the rankings unveiled on Thursday – matching the Dec. 8 total - including four in the Top 10.
Gray was listed at No. 11 in the initial rankings published back in September before moving up to No. 5 in December. In his fourth campaign with the Bisons last fall, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound guard from Winnipeg was named a Canada West all-star, the conference’s most outstanding down lineman, a national nominee for the J.P. Metras Trophy and a First Team All-Canadian. After starting all eight league games for Manitoba, the engineering student was one of two players selected to represent Canadian university football at the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in Florida, in January.
The only players ranked higher than Gray on the Scouting Bureau’s April list are NCAA products Justin Senior, an offensive lineman from Mississippi State, and Eli Ankou, a defensive lineman from UCLA. Senior, who hails from Montreal, had also topped the September and December rankings.
The other U SPORTS stars named to the new Top 20 are McMaster receiver Danny Vandervoort (No. 4 / up three), Laval tight end Antony Auclair (No. 7 / down five), Carleton receiver Nate Behar (No. 9 / up three), Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke (No. 11 / down two), Wilfrid Laurier defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng (No. 12 / down six), McGill offensive lineman Qadr Spooner (No. 13 / no change), Calgary defensive back Robert Woodson (No. 14 / up three), St. Francis Xavier defensive lineman Kay Okafor (No. 15 / up four), as well as previously unranked offensive lineman Braden Schram from Calgary (No. 16), running back Johnny Augustine from Guelph (No. 17), defensive lineman Fabion Foote from McMaster (No. 18) and defensive lineman Connor McGough from Calgary (No. 20).
Boateng and Auclair were the highest-ranked U SPORTS players on the September and December lists, respectively, both reaching the No. 2 spot.
Last May, Laval offensive lineman Philippe Gagnon was the first U SPORTS player selected in the CFL Canadian Draft when the Montreal Alouettes called his name at No. 2. Gagnon had been ranked 15th, 13th and ninth, respectively, on the three prospect lists released over the course of the season.
Fifty-three U SPORTS players were selected in the 2016 CFL Draft (out of 70 total picks), including four in the first round.
NOTES: The CFL Scouting Bureau releases its rankings three times each year: in September, December and April. The Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams.
CFL release: http://www.cfl.ca/2017/04/13/senior-tops-final-cfl-scouting-bureau-ranking/ CFL SCOUTING BUREAU APRIL 13, 2017 LIST: Rank Name Pos. University Hometown Ht. Wt. Dec. 8
1. Justin Senior OL Mississippi St. Montreal, Que. 6-5 310 1
2. Eli Ankou DL UCLA Ottawa, Ont. 6-3 325 3
3. Geoff Gray OL Manitoba Winnipeg, Man. 6-6 310 5
4. Danny Vandervoort REC McMaster Barrie, Ont. 6-2 204 7
5. Faith Ekakitie DL Iowa Brampton, Ont. 6-3 290 11
6. Christophe Mulumba LB Maine Laval, Que. 6-1 245 8
7. Antony Auclair TE Laval Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que. 6-6 254 2
8. Mason Woods OL Idaho Port Coquitlam, B.C. 6-9 320 10
9. Nate Behar REC Carleton London, Ont. 6-0 195 12
10. Dariusz Bladek OL Bethune-Cookman Kissimmee, Fl. 6-4 308 15
11. Junior Luke DL Montreal Montreal, Que. 6-3 288 912. Kwaku Boateng DL Laurier Milton, Ont. 6-2 250 6
13. Qadr Spooner OL McGill Brossard, Que. 6-4 314 13
14. Robert Woodson DB Calgary Calgary, Alta. 5-11 197 17
15. Kay Okafor DL StFX Enugu, Nigeria 6-4 275 19
16. Braden Schram OL Calgary Manning, Alta. 6-5 290 NR
17. Johnny Augustine RB Guelph Welland, Ont. 5-10 200 NR
18. Fabion Foote DL McMaster North York, Ont. 6-2 285 NR
19. Dondre Wright DB Henderson St. Ajax, Ont. 5-11 210 NR
20. Connor McGough DL Calgary Medicine Hat, Alta. 6-2 251 NR- courtesy of U SPORTS