Over 50 percent, 31 of the 54 selections in the 2021 CFL Draft were U Sports student-athletes who developed at Canadian universities.
The Canada West conference led the way with 14 selections, followed by Ontario University Athletics with nine, the Quebec conference five, and the Atlantic University Sport conference three. In total, 16 of the 27 U Sports football programs had at least one player chosen.
The University of Calgary Dinos had the most players picked with six. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats picked the most U Sports players of any CFL team with five.
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.
Reigning Canadian university Defensive Player of the Year Nelson Lokombo was the first U Sports player selected on Tuesday evening. The University of Saskatchewan defensive back was chosen by the Roughriders second overall. It’s the fourth time in seven years the highest U Sports product has been selected 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 University of 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 Nick Cross from the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (No. 9, Hamilton).
All eight U Sports players to appear on the CFL’s Scouting Bureau were selected.
U Sports players selected in the 2021 CFL Draft — 31 total