April 8, 2023

Nye: Hometown CFL Draft matches

Christian Bender/CFL.ca

Home is where the heart is!

You see it a lot in the Canadian Football League. A player gets drafted and then a few years later the pull home is too much to resist.

Andy Fantuz went to Hamilton.

Brendon LaBatte went to Saskatchewan.

Michael Couture is back in BC.

Andrew Harris found his way back to Winnipeg, as did Nic Demski.

So, why not just start your career at home?

With the May 2 CFL Draft quickly approaching, here’s one homegrown pick for each of the nine CFL teams.

» View: 2023 CFL Draft Order
» For Comparison’s Sake: Projecting the Combine’s top prospects
» Ferguson: Did the combine DBs have more size than usual?


Ottawa REDBLACKS: Lake Korte-Moore

The defensive lineman wouldn’t only possibly be a top round pick, but he’d also fit in just nicely with the REDBLACKS’ need to get deeper with national talent on the defensive side of the football. While he played his college ball on the west coast, which I’m sure he was fine with given his skiing background, why not start your career playing with the hometown REDBLACKS!

Saskatchewan Roughriders: Jaxon Ford

I’ll be honest. I started writing this piece just based on the NEED for the Roughriders to draft Ford. The University of Regina Rams defensive back showed incredibly well at the CFL Combine presented by New Era in Edmonton. Ford has Roughrider blood in his veins, being the grandson of 1966 Grey Cup Champion Alan Ford, who also served as the Riders’ general manager in the Grey Cup season of 1989.

Edmonton Elks: Jacob Taylor

Another great showing for Taylor at the combine in his ‘hometown.’ While not an Edmontonian, Beaumont, Alta. is closer to Edmonton than the city’s own airport, so Taylor definitely would be a hometown kid for the Elks. Oh and Chris Jones LOVES combine numbers so he should be impressed with how the U of A linebacker/defensive back showed his athleticism with his testing numbers.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Charlie Ringland

Ringland left Winnipeg to join the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and was the team’s rookie of the year and then became a Canada West All-Star. He also would pick off his hometown Bisons three times in the Hardy Cup final. Yes, Ringland is a strong athlete, with a knack for taking the ball away on defence. Now, Ringland did get injured at the combine so he might fall down draft boards but that could also make him a great value/hometown selection for the Bombers.


Montreal Alouettes: Francis Bemiy

The defensive lineman for Southern Utah has played from the minute he stepped onto campus in 2018 and was an All-Big Sky First Team Defensive player. Now, Montreal is going to have to fight off other CFL teams to draft this young man to be a hometown product because he is a projected first-round selection. That could however work out just fine for the Alouettes, who pick fifth and seventh.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Tavius Robinson

I know. He’s likely to be drafted in the NFL after a great combine down south. But Robinson isn’t a first and likely not even a second day drafted player, and when it comes to late-round picks in the CFL because someone was taken in the NFL draft, there isn’t a better risk than taking a young man from Guelph for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats…just in case there is an opportunity in two or three years to bring him back home.

Calgary Stampeders: Kwadwo Boahen

I’m intrigued by what Boahen could possibly do by staying home, as he already made that decision in his collegiate career to move away from York – where he was a top player – to transfer to the University of Alberta and even play some junior football before getting back on the field. It’s been a topsy turvy few years for the defensive lineman but he tried to show his versatility along the defensive line, which could pay off if the Stampeders want to give the Calgarian an opportunity.

Toronto Argonauts: Clark Barnes

I was torn between Barnes and another Bramptonian, Gabriel Appiah-Kubi, but I settled on Barnes. The Guelph Gryphon didn’t have quite the speed of his hometown counterpart but he was running similar speeds with a bigger frame and more weight. Problem with Toronto is they don’t pick until 16th. So if Barnes isn’t there, maybe Appiah-Kubi will be.

BC Lions: Phillip Grohovac

Being as how they are the British Columbia Lions, I feel picking someone from Victoria is acceptable for this column. With the Lions selecting ninth and 14th overall, why not look to beef up the offensive line with Phillip Grohovac? He led the way with 26 reps of the bench press at the CFL Combine and sets up as one of the top offensive lineman in the CFL Draft. So, BC might just have to move further up the draft board to get their hands on the Western Mustangs’ right guard.

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