15 U SPORTS standouts crack initial top-20 prospect list

Photo: Kha Vo / Wilfred Laurier
Photo: Kha Vo / Wilfred Laurier

CFL Scouting Bureau: 15 U SPORTS standouts crack initial top-20 prospect list

Godfrey Onyeka, a defensive back from Wilfrid Laurier University, is the top-ranked U SPORTS player on the initial prospect list released by the CFL’s Scouting Bureau in advance of the league’s 2018 Canadian Draft. 

No less than 15 U SPORTS standouts cracked the first top-20 rankings of the season, including two selections apiece for reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval, Calgary and Montreal. A third product of the Calgary program, who now plays in the CJFL, made the cut. 

Onyeka, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior in his fourth campaign with the Golden Hawks, was named a First Team All-Canadian each of the past two seasons, after being voted to the OUA all-rookie squad in his university debut in 2014. Last fall, the arts student helped Laurier capture the Yates Cup after tallying an impressive 40.5 tackles and four interceptions in eight league games. 

It marks the second straight year that a Golden Hawk tops the first prospect list. Defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng earned the honour in 2016. 

“Everyone at Laurier football is excited for Godfrey and the position he has put himself in. He has worked extremely hard on the field and in the weight room, and to be recognized as the top U SPORTS draft-eligible player is not surprising to anyone around here,” said Laurier head coach Michael Faulds, who was named U SPORTS Coach of the Year last season. “He will continue to impress everyone with his play in his senior season and we know that any of the nine CFL teams would be very fortunate to have him playing for them next year.” 

The three players ranked higher than Onyeka on the Scouting Bureau’s August list – all NCAA offensive linemen - are Nebraska’s David Knevel, Connecticut’s Trey Rutherford and Bowling Green’s Ryan Hunter. 

The other U SPORTS stars named to the initial top 20 are Calgary offensive lineman Darius Ciraco (No. 5), Laval receiver Tyrone Pierre (No. 7), Carleton defensive lineman Kene Onyeka (No. 8), Montreal receiver Regis Cibasu (No. 9), Laval running back Christopher Amoah (No. 11), former Calgary receiver Rashaun Simonise (No. 12), Guelph offensive lineman Andrew Pickett (No. 13), UBC offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley (No. 14), Western running back Alex Taylor (No. 15), Calgary offensive lineman Ryan Sceviour (No. 16), Acadia offensive lineman Keiler Cherry (No. 17), Montreal defensive lineman Jonathan Boissonneault-Glaou (No. 18), Ottawa defensive back Jackson Bennett (No. 19) and Queen’s linebacker Nelkas Kwemo (No. 20). 

Last May, McMaster receiver Danny Vandervoort was the first U SPORTS player selected in the CFL Canadian Draft when the British Columbia Lions called his name at No. 3. Vandervoort had been ranked fourth, seventh and fourth, respectively, on the three prospect lists released over the course of the season. 

Fifty-six U SPORTS players were selected in the 2017 CFL Draft (out of 71 total picks), including six in the first round. 

NOTE: The CFL Scouting Bureau releases its rankings three times each year: in August, December and April. The Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams.


CFL release: https://www.cfl.ca/2017/08/30/knevel-headlines-central-scouting-bureau-september-rankings/




Rank   Name                           Pos.     University                   Hometown                  Ht.       Wt.                 

1.         David Knevel               OL       Nebraska                      Brampton, Ont.             6-9       315

2.         Trey Rutherford           OL       Connecticut                  Markham, Ont.              6-5       312

3.         Ryan Hunter                OL       Bowling Green             North Bay, Ont.               6-4       325

4.         Godfrey Onyeka         DB       Laurier                        Brampton, Ont.               6-2       200

5.         Darius Ciraco             OL       Calgary                       Burlington, Ont.              6-4       295

6.         Peter Godber               OL       Rice                             Toronto, Ont.                6-3       300

7.         Tyrone Pierre             REC     Laval                           Ottawa, Ont.                 6-3       210

8.         Kene Onyeka              DL       Carleton                       Brampton, Ont.              6-3       235

9.         Regis Cibasu               REC     Montreal                      Kinshasa, Congo            6-2       230

10.       Julien Laurent              DL       Georgia State               Toronto, Ont.                 6-4       295

11.       Christopher Amoah    RB       Laval                           Montreal, Que.               5-10     206

12.       Rashaun Simonise       REC     Calgary */Okanagan    Vancouver, B.C.            6-5       200

13.       Andrew Pickett           OL       Guelph                          Kitchener, Ont.            6-4       300

14.       Dakoda Shepley          OL       UBC                             Windsor, Ont.              6-5       295

15.       Alex Taylor                 RB       Western                        Winnipeg, Man.            5-10     205

16.       Ryan Sceviour             OL       Calgary                       Calgary, Alta.                6-4       305

17.       Keiler Cherry             OL       Acadia                          Lloydminster, Alta.        6-7       300

18.       Jonathan B.-Glaou     DL       Montreal                       Lyster, Que.                  6-0       227

19.       Jackson Bennett          DB       Ottawa                     Cumberland, Ont.           6-0       214

20.       Nelkas Kwemo             LB       Queen’s                       Montreal, Que.             6-3       226


* Simonise played for the University of Calgary from 2013 to 2015. He currently plays for the Okanagan Sun in the CJFL.