Source: Regina Sports Info
The New Orleans Saints selected former University of Regina Rams
defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (pictured) in the third round (89th
overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft on Friday night.
Hicks becomes the first Rams player to be taken in the NFL Draft and just the second Canada West player ever to be selected. He's the ninth player in CIS history to be drafted by an NFL team and the first since Western's Vaughn Martin went to San Diego in 2009.
“It's been an incredible journey for Akiem,” Rams head coach Frank McCrystal said. “He never wavered from his goal to be drafted by an NFL team. We are all absolutely thrilled that this has come to fruition for Akiem and we are excited about the opportunity that awaits him in New Orleans.”
Hicks was named a Canada West all-star in 2010 following his first season with the Rams and was even more dominant in 2011. He was a first-team All-Canadian and was named Canada West's top lineman last season after setting a University of Regina single-season record with 6½ sacks during the conference schedule and leading the conference's defensive linemen with 35½ tackles.
Of the nine players to be drafted by NFL teams directly from the CIS, only Mike Schad from Queen's (23rd overall, 1986) was taken higher. New Orleans took Hicks with their first pick of the draft.
Hicks will look to join current Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan as the only products of the University of Regina to play in the NFL.
CIS Players Selected in the NFL Draft
Brian Fryer, Alberta (234th overall to Washington,
John Priestner, Western (280th overall to Baltimore, 1979)
Dan Feraday, Toronto (333rd overall to Cincinnati, 1982)
Mike Schad, Queen's (23rd overall to Los Angeles, 1986)
Tyrone Williams, Western (239th overall to Phoenix, 1992)
Mark Montreuil, Concordia (237th overall to San Diego, 1995)
Randy Chevrier, McGill (241st overall to Jacksonville, 2001)
Vaughn Martin, Western (113th overall to San Diego, 2009)
Akiem Hicks, Regina (89th overall to New Orleans, 2012)