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Fourteen U SPORTS standouts make second top-20 prospect list for 2017 draft


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

CFL release

Fourteen U SPORTS standouts cracked the latest top 20 published on Wednesday, compared to 15 on the Aug. 30 list.

Onyeka, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior from Brampton, Ont., is ranked sixth overall after opening the season at No. 4. The arts student was simply dominant in his fourth campaign with Laurier, tallying a team-high 42.5 tackles in eight league games, in addition to a pair of forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception. He was named a first-team all-Canadian for the third straight season after helping the 2016 OUA champion Golden Hawks make a return trip to the Yates Cup final.

The five players ranked higher than Onyeka on the second Scouting Bureau list are all NCAA linemen, including top prospect David Knevel of Nebraska, an offensive lineman whose brother Michael has been Laurier’s starting quarterback for the past two years.

The other U SPORTS stars named to the new top 20 are former Calgary receiver Rashaun Simonise (No. 7 / up five positions), Montreal receiver Regis Cibasu (No. 8 / up one), Calgary offensive lineman Darius Ciraco (No. 9 / down four), UBC offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley (No. 11 / up three), Alberta offensive lineman Mark Korte (No. 12 / previously unranked), Ottawa defensive back Jackson Bennett (No. 13 / up six), Carleton defensive lineman Kene Onyeka (No. 14 / down six), Guelph offensive lineman Andrew Pickett (No. 15 / down two), Western running back Alex Taylor (No. 16 / down one), Queen’s linebacker Nelkas Kwemo (No. 17 / up three), Calgary offensive lineman Ryan Sceviour (No. 18 / down two), Laval running back Christopher Amoah (No. 19 / down eight) and Western offensive lineman David Brown (No. 20 / previously unranked).

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.


Rank Name Position University Hometown Height Weight AuG. 30
1 David Knevel OL Nebraska Brampton, Ont. 6-9 315 1
2 Trey Rutherford OL Connecticut Markham, Ont. 6-5 312 2
3 Ryan Hunter OL Bowling Green North Bay, Ont. 6-4 325 3
4 Peter Godber OL Rice Toronto, Ont. 6-3 300 6
5 Julien Laurent DL Georgia State Toronto, Ont. 6-4 295 10
6 Godfrey Onyeka DB Laurier Brampton, Ont. 6-2 200 4
7 Rashaun Simonise REC



Vancouver, B.C. 6-3 200 12
8 Regis Cibasu REC Montreal Kinshasa, Congo 6-2 230 9
9 Darius Ciraco OL Calgary Burlington, Ont. 6-4 295 5
10 Mark Chapman REC Central Michigan Port Huron, Mich. 6-0 180 NR
11 Dakoda Shepley OL UBC Windsor, Ont. 6-5 295 14
12 Mark Korte OL Alberta Spruce Grove, Alta. 6-4 285 NR
13 Jackson Bennett DB Ottawa Cumberland, Ont. 6-0 214 19
14 Kene Onyeka DL Carleton Brampton, Ont. 6-3 235 8
15 Andrew Pickett OL Guelph Kitchener, Ont. 6-4 300 13
16 Alex Taylor RB Western Winnipeg, Man. 5-10 205 15
17 Nelkas Kwemo LB Queen's Montréal, Que. 6-3 225 20
18 Ryan Sceviour OL Calgary Calgary, Alta. 6-4 305 16
19 Christopher Amoah RB Laval Montréal, Que. 5-10 206 11
20 David Brown OL Western London, Ont. 6-4 315 NR

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