Mathieu Betts, a defensive end from the Laval Rouge et Or, is the top-ranked player on the second prospect list released Thursday 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 since Manitoba’s David Onyemata – now in his third season with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints – topped the final rankings ahead of the 2016 CFL Draft.
Betts, ranked No.2 on the first list released in August, 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. 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.”
Glen Constantin - Laval Head Coach
In total, 11 U SPORTS stars cracked the December Scouting Bureau list, including two others from the Rouge et Or program, as well as players from Laurier, StFX, Concordia, Western, Ottawa and UBC.
Last May, offensive lineman Mark Korte from Alberta was the first U SPORTS player selected in the CFL Canadian Draft when the Ottawa REDBLACKS called his name at No. 4. After being left off last season’s initial prospect list, Korte was ranked 12th in December before rising all the way to No. 6 in April.
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.
CFL SCOUTING BUREAU LIST (December 6, 2018):
|1||Mathieu Betts||DL||Laval||Montréal, Que.||6-3||250||2|
|2||Shane Richards||OL||Oklahoma St.||Calgary, Alta.||6-8||336||4|
|3||Justin McInnis||REC||Arkansas St.||Pierrefonds, Que.||6-6||205||5|
|4||Jonathan Kongbo||DL||Tennessee||Surrey, B.C.||6-5||254||1|
|5||Alex Fontana||OL||Kansas||Toronto, Ont.||6-2||300||9|
|6||Hergy Mayala||REC||Connecticut||Montreal, Que.||6-2||204||3|
|7||Alexandre Savard||REC||Laval||Québec City, Que.||6-5||242||10|
|8||Maleek Irons||RB||Ohio||Chilliwack, B.C.||6-1||229||11|
|9||Kurleigh Gittens Jr.||REC||Laurier||Ottawa, Ont.||6-0||191||13|
|10||Brady Oliveira||RB||North Dakota||Winnipeg, Man.||5-10||220||7|
|11||Maurice Simba||OL||Concordia||Laval, Que.||6-8||320||18|
|12||Robbie Smith||DL||Laurier||Brampton, Ont.||6-2||245||15|
|13||Kaion Julien Grant||REC||StFX||Toronto, Ont.||6-2||208||14|
|14||Fraser Sopik||LB||Western||Toronto, Ont.||6-0||196||19|
|15||Jamie Harry||DB||Ottawa||Lachine, Que.||6-2||200||17|
|16||Samuel Thomassin||OL||Laval||Québec City, QC||6-6||330||12|
|17||Zach Wilkinson||OL||Northern Colorado||Vancouver, B.C.||6-5||285||8|
|18||Trivel Pinto||REC||UBC||Toronto, Ont.||5-11||190||NR|
|19||Michael O’Connor||QB||UBC||Orleans, Ont.||6-5||225||20|
|20||Nate Anderson||DL||Missouri||Toronto, Ont.||6-4||255||NR|