Reigning U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year Nelson Lokombo, a defensive back from the Saskatchewan Huskies, was the first U SPORTS player selected in the 2021 CFL Draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at second overall, on Tuesday evening.
It’s the the fourth time in seven years the highest U SPORTS product has been chosen with the second pick in the draft.
Lokombo was one of four U SPORTS players who went in the opening round. He was followed by Alberta Golden Bears defensive lineman Cole Nelson (No. 5, Edmonton Football Team), along with offensive lineman Peter Nicastro of the Calgary Dinos (No. 7, Toronto Argonauts) and linebacker Nick Cross from the UBC Thunderbirds (No. 9, Hamilton Tiger-Cats).
Lokombo was ranked No. 17 in the final Scouting Bureau rankings published Apr. 26, after opening the season at No. 14 in October, before falling to No. 19 in January. Cross was also ranked No. 20 in October. All eight U SPORTS players to appear on the Scouting Bureau this season were selected.
Overall, 31 U SPORTS standouts were selected out of 54 total picks (57.4 per cent) over six rounds. CW led the way with 14 selections, followed by OUA with nine – with the Calgary Dinos having the most players picked with six, while the Tiger-Cats picked the most of any CFL team at five.
In all, 16 of the 27 U SPORTS programs had at least one player chosen.
Since 2003, over 700 U SPORTS football alumni have been drafted into the CFL, while approximately 200 Canadian university football standouts annually start the season on the opening day rosters of the league’s nine teams.
For the full CFL Draft Tracker, click here.
U SPORTS players selected in the 2021 CFL Draft (31)