Four OUA standouts make second Top-20 prospect list for 2017 CFL draft

Four OUA standouts make second Top-20 prospect list for 2017 CFL draft

TORONTO (U Sports) – Antony Auclair, a tight end from Laval University, is the top-ranked U Sports player on the second 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 second rankings of the season – one less than on Sept. 15 - including six in the Top 10.

Auclair, who recently wrapped up his stellar four-year career on the Quebec City campus, made a spectacular eight-position jump in the new rankings after he was named a unanimous RSEQ conference all-star for the second straight campaign and helped the Rouge et Or capture their record ninth national title, the second of his career. The six-foot-six, 254-pound sport intervention student caught six passes for 70 yards and one touchdown in last month's 31-26 Vanier Cup triumph against Calgary. Earlier this week, the native of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., was one of two players selected to represent Canadian university football at the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in Florida, in January.

"It's flattering to see that my value has increased in the eyes of the league's decision makers," said Auclair. "However, this is only a subjective ranking, and it doesn't guarantee a selection in the draft, let alone a professional contract. I'll continue to train and work hard to get a chance to show what I can do."

The only player ranked higher than Auclair on the Scouting Bureau's December list is Montreal native Justin Senior, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman from Mississippi State in the NCAA who also topped the initial rankings earlier this fall.

The other U Sports stars named to the new Top 20 are former Calgary receiver Rashaun Simonise (No. 4 / up three positions), Manitoba offensive lineman Geoff Gray (No. 5 / up six), Wilfrid Laurier defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng (No. 6 / down four), McMaster receiver Danny Vandervoort (No. 7 / down three), Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke (No. 9 / up four), Carleton receiver Nate Behar (No. 12 / down four), McGill offensive lineman Qadr Spooner (No. 13 / down four), Laval offensive lineman Jean-Simon Roy (No. 14 / up four), Calgary defensive back Robert Woodson (No. 17 / down five), Laurier linebacker Nakas Onyeka (No. 18 / down two), St. Francis Xavier defensive lineman Kay Okafor (No. 19 / down two), as well as previously-unranked receiver Mitchell Picton of Regina (No. 20).

Boateng was the highest-ranked U Sports player back in September, trailing only Senior on the overall list, while Gray's stock rose after he was selected along with Auclair to play in the upcoming Shrine Game.

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.

NOTE: 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/2016/09/15/senior-headlines-central-scouting-bureau-september-rankings/

CFL SCOUTING BUREAU DECEMBER 8, 2016 LIST:

Rank   Name                           Pos.     University       Hometown                  Ht.       Wt.      Sept 15           


1.         Justin Senior                OL       Mississippi St.  Montreal, Que.                        6-5       310      1

2.         Antony Auclair           TE        Laval               Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que.   6-6       254      10

3.         Eli Ankou                     DL       UCLA               Ottawa, Ont.                6-3       325      5

4.         Rashaun Simonise       REC     Calgary                        Vancouver, B.C.          6-5       190      7

5.         Geoff Gray                 OL       Manitoba         Winnipeg, Man.                       6-6       310      11

6.         Kwaku Boateng          DL       Laurier             Milton, Ont.                 6-2       250      2

7.         Danny Vandervoort   REC     McMaster         Barrie, Ont.                  6-2       204      4

8.         Christophe Mulumba   LB        Maine              Laval, Que.                  6-1       245      6

9.         Junior Luke                DL       Montreal          Montreal, Que.             6-3       288      13

10.       Mason Woods              OL       Idaho               Port Coquitlam, B.C.   6-9       320      15

11.       Faith Ekakitie              DL       Iowa                Brampton, Ont.                        6-3       290      14

12.       Nate Behar                 REC     Carleton           London, Ont.               6-0       195      8

13.       Qadr Spooner                         OL       McGill             Brossard, Que.             6-4       314      9

14.       Jean-Simon Roy         OL       Laval               Quebec City, Que.       6-3       285      18

15.       Dariusz Bladek                        OL       Bethune-Cookman  Kissimmee, Fl.             6-4       308      NR

16.       Jordan Herdman         LB        Simon Fraser   Winnipeg, Man.                       6-2       235      NR

17.       Robert Woodson        DB       Calgary                        Calgary, Alta.               5-11     197      12

18.       Nakas Onyeka                        LB       Laurier             Brampton, Ont.                        6-0       210      16

19.       Kay Okafor                DL       StFX                Enugu, Nigeria             6-4       275      17

20.       Mitchell Picton                        REC     Regina             Regina, Sask.               6-2       205      NR

* Simonise played for the University of Calgary from 2013-2015 but was not on the Dinos' 2016 roster

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