Canadian DL Mason Bennett becomes fourth North Dakota alum to be selected in first round of CFL draft

Photo courtesy: Russell Hons/UND Athletics

North Dakota’s Division I leader in career sacks joins an exclusive list of players, becoming only the fourth player in program history to be selected in the first round of the CFL draft.

Bennett was selected eighth overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, joining Tim Prinsen (fourth overall, 1997), Greg Lotysz (third overall, 1999) and Scott Schultz (first overall, 2001) as former first-round selections.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native was limited to just 10 games last season due to injury, but still managed to lead the Fighting Hawks in sacks with 5.5 and five quarterback hurries while finishing tied for second on the team in tackles for loss at 6.5.

He returned from injury on November 16 and didn’t miss a beat, recording five tackles for loss, four sacks, two quarterback hurries, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble over that three-game stretch to earn AP All-America third-team honors. For his career, Bennett finished as the top sack artist in UND’s DI history and second all-time with 20.0.

Bennett marks the second straight season a Fighting Hawk has been selected in the CFL Draft, with running back Brady Oliveira being chosen in the second round by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.