The Calgary Stampeders have selected Calgary product Johnny Forzani in the 2010 CFL Supplemental Draft. He is the son of former Stampeders receiver Tom Forzani who played 11 seasons for Calgary.
“We know Johnny very well from when he was a junior player with the Calgary Colts and he came to training camp with us, so we had that to our advantage,” said Hufnagel. “He has a lot of physical talent and a great upside. He might not have as much football experience as some of the other players who were drafted earlier this month, but his measurables would have been among the best of the 2010 draft class if he was at the CFL Combine.”
In order to select Forzani, Calgary will forfeit its third round pick in 2011 CFL Canadian Draft. Forzani was the only player to apply for this year’s supplemental draft.
“With a year of experience under his belt, along with his natural ability, we feel Johnny would have been a very high pick if he was available in the 2011 draft, so this was a great opportunity for our football club,” said Hufnagel. “It’s also a nice story because his father Tom was a great Stampeder and the family will be proud to see the Forzani name back on a Stamps jersey.”
Forzani played junior football for the Calgary Colts in 2008 and was named a Prairie Football Conference first-team all-star and the conference’s rookie of the year. He went to Washington State University for the 2009 season and made nine catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns. One of his scores went for 99 yards, tying a NCAA record.
“I’m very honoured to have a chance to play for the Calgary Stampeders,” said Forzani. “I’m looking forward to the taking this next step, working to improve and helping the team in any way I can.”
In addition to his father Tom, whose No. 22 is retired by the Stampeders, Forzani’s uncles John and Joe also played for the Red and White. The brothers played a combined 25 seasons for Calgary.
“Obviously, the family tradition carries added weight because they did a lot for this team and for this city,” said Forzani. “I know there are going to be a lot of comparisons and it’s a challenge you have to step up to. I’m going to challenge myself and embrace it. I’ve got to play my game and hopefully it works out well for me as it did for them.”
The supplemental draft works somewhat like an auction. Teams have the option of giving up a pick in the following year’s CFL Canadian Draft in exchange for the rights to an eligible player, but they can be trumped by a team willing to part with a higher pick in next year’s draft.
As a result, the player eventually goes to the team most willing to forfeit a higher pick next year.