TORONTO (via U SPORTS) – Mathieu Betts, a defensive end from the Laval Rouge et Or, is the top-ranked player on the final prospect list released Friday by the Canadian Football League’s Scouting Bureau in advance of the 2019 Draft.
It’s the first time a U SPORTS product has been ranked No.1 heading into the draft since Manitoba’s David Onyemata – who has played the last three seasons with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints – topped the final rankings in 2016.
Betts, ranked No.2 on the first list released in August before moving up to No.1 on the second list in December, was named the nation’s top down lineman for the third consecutive season. He became the first player in history to claim the J.P. Metras Trophy three times and the first to win four major U SPORTS awards during his career, after being named Rookie of the Year in 2015.
With nine sacks in only six regular season games this fall, Betts dominated the RSEQ in that category for the fourth time in as many years and set a Quebec conference record with 35.5 career sacks. Unsurprisingly, his nine sacks and 14 tackles for losses, both U SPORTS highs, earned him a spot on the first All-Canadian team for the fourth straight season, en route to a Vanier Cup title.
“Mathieu is simply dominant. So explosive that he’s able to change the outcome of a game on his own, and he’s done it again this year,” said Rouge et Or head coach Glen Constantin. “He’s also a great teammate. He’s humble, supports all the guys around him and helps create a fun atmosphere around the team. He makes his teammates better, both with his play and his attitude.”
Betts was also selected to take part in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in January – one of two university All-Star Games held in the United States that U SPORTS Scouting Bureau prospects participated in this season – along with teammate Alexandre Savard and Concordia’s Maurice Simba, who played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
In total, 11 U SPORTS stars cracked the April Scouting Bureau list, including players from Laval, Laurier, Windsor, StFX, Concordia, Waterloo and UBC.
Fifty-six U SPORTS players were selected in the 2018 CFL Draft out of 69 total picks (81.2 per cent), including four in the first round.
The CFL Scouting Bureau releases its rankings three times each year, usually in August, December and April. The Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams.
Details surrounding the 2019 U SPORTS East-West Bowl – showcasing the next generation of CFL stars that will vie for coveted spots on next year’s Scouting Bureau – will be announced on Monday. The 2018 game featured all 15 U SPORTS prospects to appear on at least one Scouting Bureau list this season below.
|APRIL SCOUTING BUREAU RANKINGS|
|1||Mathieu Betts||DL||Laval||Montreal, QC|
|2||Shane Richards||OL||Oklahoma St.||Calgary, AB|
|3||Justin McInnis||REC||Arkansas St.||Pierrefonds, QC|
|4||Zach Wilkinson||OL||Northern Colorado||Vancouver, B.C|
|5||Hergy Mayala||REC||Connecticut||Montreal, QC|
|6||Jonathan Kongbo||DL||Tennessee||Surrey, B.C.|
|7||Drew Desjarlais||OL||Windsor||Belle River, Ont.|
|8||Maleek Irons||RB||Ohio||Chilliwack, B.C.|
|9||Kaion Julien Grant||REC||St. Francis Xavier||Toronto, Ont.|
|10||Alex Fontana||OL||Kansas||Toronto, Ont.|
|11||Brayden Dickey||WR||New Mexico||North Vancouver, B.C.|
|12||Samuel Thomassin||OL||Laval||Quebec, QC|
|13||Maurice Simba||OL||Concordia||Laval, QC|
|14||Jesse Gibbon||OL||Waterloo||Hamilton, Ont.|
|15||Robbie Smith||DL||Laurier||Brampton, ON|
|16||Kurleigh Gittens Jr.||REC||Laurier||Ottawa, ON|
|17||Michael O'Connor||QB||UBC||Orleans, Ont.|
|18||Brady Oliveira||RB||North Dakota||Winnipeg, Man.|
|19||Malcolm Lee||DB||UBC||Surrey, B.C.|
|20||Alexandre Savard||REC||Laval||Quebec City, QC|