Allemang, Jones give Canadian quarterback Tre Ford vote of confidence

Photo courtesy: Christian Bender/Waterloo Warriors

Tre Ford is arguably the most intriguing prospect in the 2022 CFL Draft, but questions remain as to whether or not the dual-threat passer can play quarterback at the professional level. Drew Allemang, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ assistant general manager and director of Canadian scouting, believes the answer is yes.

“I think he can. I think it’s tough for any position through the Canadian draft to just say that they’re going to come in and play right away but there’s another team using Canadian quarterbacks and I think Tre has, as a football player, the mindset and everything that you could foresee him doing that,” said Allemang via videoconference.

Canadian quarterbacks have made inroads in recent years — B.C. plans to start Victoria native Nathan Rourke this season — but historically they’ve often been converted to new positions at the professional level. Brad Sinopoli is the most recent notable example as he was a three-time all-star at receiver with the Redblacks after winning the Hec Crighton Trophy as a quarterback at the University of Ottawa.

Ford showed elite athleticism at the University at Buffalo pro day in mid-March, running a 4.45 forty-yard dash and leaping 36 inches in the vertical jump. He expanded on those results at the CFL Combine a little over a week later, posting 17 reps on the bench press and completing the three-cone drill in 6.85 seconds.

Edmonton Elks’ head coach and general manager Chris Jones attended last month’s pro day and raved not only about Ford’s performance but the performance of Tyrell Ford, Tre’s twin brother who plays defensive back.

“Quite honestly [Tre] was the best player at Buffalo. He and [Tyrell] were the two best players in that entire pro day. They were better than all of the Americans that were there in my opinion,” said Jones.

“They did a very nice job setting the table for them following up that week with the CFL Combine. I thought they both interviewed extremely well and [Tre] in particular, I thought he threw the ball well and again you know what kind of athlete he is.”

Ford completed 63 percent of his passes over seven games in 2021 for 1,770 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also rushed 66 times for 667 yards and three touchdowns before being awarded the Hec Crighton Trophy.

His best statistical season came in 2018 when he threw for 3,093 yards, 30 touchdowns, and two interceptions while rushing 85 times for 771 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. He has since garnered NFL attention and could possibility sign south of the border as an undrafted free agent.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.