Great football players are born and raised in countries all over the world. Canada is no exception, producing players who have achieved success in the NFL, CFL and abroad.
Today we’re looking at the best active football player from each province. A number of individuals deserve consideration for each spot, so I’ve provided some honourable mentions for readers to debate in the comment section and on social media.
We’ll start on the west coast and work our way east. Honourable mentions are listed in alphabetical order.
British Columbia — REC Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
He’s yet to dress for his first professional game, but this native of Abbotsford is destined for stardom. A second-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, Claypool posted elite production at Notre Dame and should become a key weapon in Pittsburgh’s aerial attack.
Honourable mentions: OL Michael Couture, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; DL Christian Covington, Cincinnati Bengals; REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions; DB Taylor Loffler, Montreal Alouettes; LB/DB Boseko Lokombo, Toronto Argonauts; OL Matt O’Donnell, Edmonton
Alberta — DL Cleyon Laing, Ottawa Redblacks
This disruptive defender has recorded 144 tackles, 33 sacks, and three forced fumbles over seven CFL seasons. Born in Edmonton, Laing is a four-time East Division all-star who earned a shot with the Miami Dolphins in 2016.
Honourable mentions: OL David Beard, Edmonton; OL Mark Korte, Ottawa Redblacks; OL Sean McEwen, Calgary Stampeders; OL Carter O’Donnell, Indianapolis Colts; OL Hunter Steward, B.C. Lions
Saskatchewan — OL Brett Jones, Minnesota Vikings
The 28-year-old out of Weyburn had a dominant two-year stint in Calgary (2013-2014) that included an all-star nod, several awards, and a Grey Cup title. He has spent the past five years in the NFL with the Giants and Vikings, making 17 starts in 46 games.
Honourable mentions: OL Dan Clark, Saskatchewan Roughriders; OL Evan Johnson, Ottawa Redblacks; OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders; OL Patrick Neufeld, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; P Jon Ryan, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Manitoba — RB Andrew Harris, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The five-time CFL all-star refuses to slow down, winning three consecutive rushing titles and being named the Grey Cup’s MVP last November. Born in Winnipeg, Harris sits just 962 rushing yards shy of 10,000 for his career.
Honourable mentions: RB/REC Anthony Coombs, Ottawa Redblacks; REC Nic Demski, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; OL Geoff Gray, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; OL Sean Jamieson, Montreal Alouettes; REC T.J. Jones, Free Agent
Ontario — DL Tyrone Crawford, Dallas Cowboys
The native of Windsor was a third-round selection of the Cowboys in 2012 and has since appeared in 96 games, starting 76. The 30-year-old has put up 180 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, and 23 sacks while earning 23.6-million USD over eight seasons in Dallas.
Honourable mentions: LB Chris Ackie, Toronto Argonauts; OL Shane Bergman, Calgary Stampeders; DL Kwaku Boateng, Edmonton; DL Stefan Charles, Edmonton; DL Neville Gallimore, Dallas Cowboys; REC N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots; DL Michael Hoecht, Los Angeles Rams; LB Henoc Muamba, Montreal Alouettes; OL Austin Pasztor, Free Agent; OL Brandon Revenberg, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; DL Nathan Shepherd, New York Jets; OL Dakoda Shepley, Saskatchewan Roughriders; REC Brad Sinopoli, Ottawa Redblacks; REC Tevaun Smith, Edmonton; DL Brent Urban, Chicago Bears; OL Chris Van Zeyl, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; DL Derek Wiggan, Calgary Stampeders; TE Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks
Quebec — OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kansas City Chiefs
The Super Bowl champion has achieved greatness on and off the field, becoming a certified medical doctor in May 2018. Born in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Duvernay-Tardif has started 57 games since the Chiefs selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Honourable mentions: TE Antony Auclair, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; DL Mathieu Betts, Edmonton; LB Cameron Judge, Saskatchewan Roughriders; LS L. P. Ladouceur, Dallas Cowboys; DL Ted Laurent, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
New Brunswick — FB Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The 31-year-old out of Riverview has posted 185 career special teams tackles, good for second all-time behind Jason Arakgi (194). Miller also tied the league’s single-game special teams tackles record with seven in a 2019 game against Edmonton.
Honourable mentions: LB Bailey Feltmate, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; DL Jake Thomas, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Nova Scotia — OL Kristian Matte, Montreal Alouettes
The Concordia product moved to Quebec at age two, but was actually born in Nova Scotia. Matte has been one of the CFL’s most underrated blockers over the past decade and was named an East Division all-star for the first time in 2019.
Honourable mentions: REC Brian Jones, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; K/P Brett Lauther, Free Agent
There are no active CFL or NFL players from Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut.