Canadian QB Tre Ford brings confidence to Edmonton Elks: ‘I’m going to be a dynamic player’

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Canadian quarterback Tre Ford has a cool confidence about him, it’s not arrogance but instead a natural swagger.

That should serve him well as he starts his professional career with Edmonton. Elks general manager and head coach Chris Jones made Ford the first QB to be selected in the first round of a CFL Draft since 1980.

“I’m extremely grateful to be where I am and I just want to be a role model to the next generation coming up. Show them that you can play in U Sports and high school in Canada and get a chance to play in the CFL,” Ford said.

“I have expectations of myself, I want to know the playbook inside and out, get out there and be a field general, know where everybody is going, know everything so I can help everybody out on the field. That helps me in my leadership role and potentially leading to me getting a starting job eventually.”

The 24-year-old Ford was the eighth overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft. He drew lots of attention from NFL scouts throughout the draft process and attended rookie mini-camp with the Baltimore Ravens, although he was not offered a contract by the team following its completion.

“When I went to the Ravens camp, I didn’t feel outclassed at all. Physically throwing the ball and running, my athletic ability, everything was there at an NFL level,” Ford said.

Ford displayed elite athleticism during the University at Buffalo pro day in mid-March, running a 4.45-second forty-yard dash, leaping 36 inches in the vertical jump and recording a ten-foot, five-inch broad jump. He expanded on those results at the CFL Combine, posting 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and completing the three-cone drill in 6.85 seconds with a 4.27-second shuttle.

“What I always say is I don’t want to be the athlete that’s playing quarterback, I want to be an athletic quarterback. There’s definitely a big difference between the two and I think that I’m an athletic quarterback,” Ford said.

“A lot of people probably say I’m a really athletic, mobile guy who can run around and extend plays, but I feel like they really overlook my pocket passing — I can make all the throws.”

The five-foot-11-and-a-half, 199-pound QB declined an invitation to attend the New York Giants rookie mini-camp to ensure he did not miss any of Edmonton’s rookie camp and be prepared to compete for the starting job when main training camp opens.

“A big thing for me was getting the playbook and learning everything, I knew the mini-camp for Edmonton was starting this week,” Ford said. “I also didn’t want to get behind because that might hurt my chances for playing quarterback. I don’t want to get behind in the playbook, get here, not know anything and everybody is flying around.”

Jones noticed the 2021 Hec Crighton Trophy winner out of the University of Waterloo had been studying in preparation for Elks practices as Ford works his way towards becoming a starting calibre quarterback in the CFL.

“Once I get everything down,” Ford said, “I feel like I’m going to be a dynamic player.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.