Men’s Football News

Men’s Football

Vanier Cup champ, MVP Merchant headlines rosters for 2018 U SPORTS Valero East-West Bowl on May 12 in Quebec City

U SPORTS Staff

Credit: Michael P. Hall

With the 2018 Canadian Football League (CFL) draft two days away, all eyes will turn next week to the next generation of top Canadian football prospects.

The Vanier Cup finalist Université Laval will host the 2018 U SPORTS Valero East-West Bowl for the second consecutive year, which features U SPORTS football players heading into their CFL draft year. The 16th annual top prospects game will be played at TELUS-U.L. Stadium on Saturday, May 12 at 12:30 p.m. ET.  

Reigning Vanier Cup champion and MVP Chris Merchant of the Western Mustangs was one of 86 players announced on Tuesday that will suit up for the game, which serves as the first step to identifying future CFL talent. For the next year, players from both squads will vie for coveted spots on the CFL Scouting Bureau Top 20 Prospects List – published in August, December and April – before showcasing their skills at regional and national combines in advance of the draft next spring.

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Merchant, who took home the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the 53rd ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup, threw for 276 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another 89 yards and a pair of scores, leading the Mustangs to a 39-17 win over Laval – Western’s first national title since 1994. He will share quarterback duties with York’s Brett Hunchak for the East team, while UBC’s Michael O’Connor and Guelph's  Theodore Landers will be under centre for the West side.

Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall, who captured his first national championship as a U SPORTS bench boss last November in Hamilton, Ont., will be behind the West team bench. Bishop’s head coach Cherif Nicolas, who led the Gaiters in their first season in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference, will coach the East team. Full rosters for both teams are available below.

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The 2018 edition of the event, which also includes four days of practices, a combine for participating players, and a CFL free-agent camp, kicks off on Monday, May 7.

The West team is mostly made up of U SPORTS football players from Canada West and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) schools, except Carleton, Ottawa and Queen’s, which play for the East squad. The rest of the East team features players from AUS and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) schools.

Last year, the West defeated the East 37-13 for their second straight win, extending their lead in the all-time series to 9-6. The game featured 10 of the 20 prospects on the final CFL Scouting Bureau List released last month for the 2018 CFL Draft.

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2018 U SPORTS VALERO EAST-WEST BOWL ROSTERS 

Note: Some players will play for both teams to fill out all the positions

TEAM EAST

LAST NAME FIRST NAME SCHOOL POS.
HEIDE Nathan Acadia OG
GRANT Thomas Acadia DT
GRAVESON Zack Bishop's REC
GARAND-GAUTHIER Banjamin Laval FB
CARON Guillaume Carleton DB
ROBITAILLE Frederik Carleton DE
HALBGEWACHS Matt Concordia OG
SIMBA  Maurice Concordia OT
GORDON Levondre Laurier  RB
BETTS Mathieu Laval DE
LÉVESQUE Dominic Laval K/P
LEBREUX CLÉMENT Laval DL
THOMASSIN Samuel Laval OG
SAVARD Alexandre Laval RC
DESJARDINS Vincent Laval DD
McGEE Kevin Laval DB
LANCTOT Pierre-Karl Laval OL
WILLIAMS Zack Manitoba OT
KATCHELEWA Kamba McGill LB
HAMEL François Montréal FS
RICHARDS Malikue Mount Allison REC
HALSTEAD Damian Mount Allison LB
HARRY Jamie Ottawa CB
CRANSTON Cody  Ottawa DB
BEAVER Kalem Ottawa REC
CAUSER Ejaz Queen's DB
OSEI-KUSI Chris Queen's REC
PICHÉ-LUNEAU Samuel Sherbrooke DL
POLAN Samuel Sherbrooke CB
POLAN Gabriel Sherbrooke RB
SAVARD David Sherbrooke FB
ROY Vincent Sherbrooke OL
LYTE-MYERS Antoine Saint Mary's CB
HENRY Josh Saint Mary's REC
JULIEN-GRANT Kaion St. Francis Xavier REC
WHYTE Gordon  St. Francis Xavier LB
CUNNINGHAM Jimmie  St. Francis Xavier DL
HALLETT Nick Toronto HB
STADNYK Nick Toronto REC
FOYLE Lamar Toronto LB
MERCHANT Chris Western QB
HUNCHAK Brett York QB

Head Coach: Cherif Nicolas, Bishop’s

Offensive Coordinator: Gabriel Cousineau, Montreal

Defensive Coordinator: Paul Eddy Saint-Vilien, Carleton

Special Teams Coordinator: Dan McNally, Acadia

TEAM WEST

LAST NAME FIRST NAME SCHOOL POS.
HARKE Jonathan Alberta C
KOCHISARLI Kemal Alberta OG
MEEK Garrett Alberta DL
TAITINGER Joshua Alberta LB
ANTWI Jeshrun Calgary RB
KARL Hunter Calgary REC
STATZ Nick Calgary DB
REINHART Job  Guelph LB
LANDERS Theodore Guelph QB
STARCZALA Eric  Guelph OL
GITTENS JR Kurleigh Laurier REC
JAMES Trevaughan Laurier DT
MAIRLEITNER Drew Laurier OG
SMITH Robbie Laurier DE
ROSS Shai Manitoba REC
DUFAULT Derek Manitoba DE
LYLES Jamel Manitoba RB
WALKER Jesse Manitoba REC
BLAKE Eric McMaster LB
LYONS Jordan McMaster RB
RICHARDS Marquis Queen's FB
DELINTE Cord Regina DB
KOKO Polis Regina DB
MOORTGAT Kyle Regina REC
SCHIENBEIN Ryan Regina REC
HALL Payton Saskatchewan FS
MACHIBRODA Evan Saskatchewan DT
HOPE Brian Saint Mary's K/P
GRIFFITHS Connor UBC DL
KATSANTONIS Stavros UBC DB
LEE Malcom UBC DB
O'CONNOR Michael UBC QB
PINTO Trivel UBC REC
FRECHA Lautaro Waterloo DB
GIBBON Jesse Waterloo OL
BOUCHARD Grégoire Western OG
DION Phillipe Western LB
HAWLEY James Western DE
JOSEPH Cedric Western RB
SOPIK Fraser Western LB
DESJARLAIS Drew Windsor OL
MARTIN Evan Windsor DB
HUNCHAK Colton York REC
KALINIC Nikola York REC

 

Head Coach: Greg Marshall, Western

Offensive Coordinator: Ryan Sheahan, Calgary

Defensive Coordinator: Dwayne Cameron, Laurier

Special Teams: Brendan Conway, Waterloo

Offensive Line: Irv Daymond, Laurier

Quarterbacks: Steve Snyder, Western and Kyle Quinlan, McMaster

Receivers: Jabari Arthur, Calgary

Running Backs: Tom Flaxman, McMaster