More and more Canadians are filtering down to NCAA football programs and making an impact.
The 2018 class of Canucks that will be draft eligible is stacked with talent.
Unveiling the top 10 NCAA national prospects to watch during the 2017 season.
1) David Knevel, OL, Nebraska
Moutain of a man – six-foot-nine, 315 pounds – Knevel enters the 2017 campaign as the Cornhuskers starting right tackle. An ankle injury caused the Brantford, ON native to miss three games in 2016, but he’s fully healthy for his senior season.
2) Trey Rutherford, OL, UCONN
(Photo credit: UCONN Athletics)
UCONN’s Canadian senior started seven games as a junior on the offensive line. The Markham, ON product has intriguing pro potential. Rutherford’s final collegiate year could really see him improve and raise his stock.
3) Alex Fontana, OL, Houston
(Photo credit: @UHCougarFB)
A centre and guard, Fontana, from Pickering, ON, utilizes an aggressive and tough style on the field. He’s an athlete all around athlete who played rugby, wrestled and did track and field in high school.
4) Shane Richards, OL, Oklahoma State
Richards saw action in four games last season. Earning more playing time as a senior would boost Richards’ pro standing. He’s nimble for a big man – played basketball in high school.
5) Peter Godber, OL, Rice
The St. Andrew’s College graduate has 23 career starts at Rice, all of those coming in 2015 and 2016. Godber earned the Iron Owl award for his strong efforts in the weight room.
6) Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green
Hunter started all 14 games at left guard in 2015 when Bowling Green won the MAC Championship and set school records for points (519), total yards (7,655) and passing yards (5,135). Then in 2016, he started all 12 games at right tackle. Experience, versatility, size and strength have made scouts take notice of the North Bay, ON native.
7) Julien Laurent, DL, Georgia State
No. 91 for the Panthers started nine games at defensive tackle in 2016, making 28 tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack last season. Laurent is stout, big, strong and can move.
8) Norvell McGlaun, DL, Indiana State
The Windsor, ON product is coming off a strong junior season, he recorded 36 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The Windsor, ON native is a load on the interior.
9) Zach Wilkinson, OL, Northern Colorado
Ever since Wilkinson arrived on campus he’s played in every season for the Bears. At six-foot-five, 270 pounds personnel men would like to see Vancouver B.C. native add some bulk to his frame.
10) Mathieu Loiselle, LB, Wagner
After suffering a season-ending leg injury in 2015, Loiselle is a fifth-year senior at Wagner. The Quebec native had his best season in 2016 and looks to rise with the Seahawks.
Offensive skill player to watch: Brayden Lenius, REC, Washington
The six-foot-five, 230-pounder has flashed amazing potential.
A team suspension led to Lenius missing the 2016 season, but he utilized his redshirt year in the process. He’s a redshirt junior who with a productive season could leave for the pros.