Top 10 specialists in the 2023 CFL Global Draft

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

The Canadian Football League’s Global program will enter its fourth season in 2023, giving players from outside Canada and the United States a chance to carve out a professional career.

This year’s Global Draft will take place on Tuesday, May 2 at 11 a.m. ET, featuring two rounds of selections. Over the past couple of years, specialists have dominated on draft day and 2023 could be no different, with several teams potentially looking to upgrade their punter position.

On Saturday, we unveiled the top 20 Global position players available for selection, as graded by scouts from All22-The Global Scouting Network. Today, we reveal the top 10 specialists, as assembled by myself and Director of US & Global Player Personnel Devin Pettenger.

1. Adam Korsak, Rutgers University (Australia)

The 2022 Ray Guy winner as the top punter in college football, Korsak boasts a 42.5-yard career net average over five seasons with the Scarlet Knights. His consistent ball placement has resulted in 153 punts inside his opponent’s 20-yard line and a return percentage of 10.7 last season. He was widely viewed as one of the top available players at the position in the 2023 NFL Draft but went unselected and is still waiting to sign as a free agent.

2. Lou Hedley, University of Miami (Australia)

A three-time Ray Guy semi-finalist and one-time finalist, Hedley has become a cult hero with the Hurricanes for his tattooed appearance and booming leg. He boasts the highest career net average of any CFL-eligible player at 42.6 yards, and an average hang-time of 3.96 seconds over 251 punts. The 28-year-old signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent on Saturday night, meaning a CFL team will have to wait to see him.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Eric Gay

3. Rhys Byrns, University of Louisiana-Lafayette (Australia)

A four-time All-Sun Belt selection – the last two of which were on the first-team – Byrns has posted a career net average of 40.2 yards per punt. With 95 punts placed inside his opponent’s 20-yard-line in five years with the Ragin’ Cajuns, he has the accuracy to match his leg strength.

4. Tom Hutton, Oklahoma State University (Australia)

The oldest player in college football this past season at 32 years old, Hutton is coming off an injury-shortened 2022 campaign. He has a whopping career average hang time of four seconds – higher than any other prospect – and has placed 103 kicks inside the 20-yard line.

5. Josh Watts, University of Colorado (Australia)

Left without a team last year after leaving Colorado, Watts’ final season with the Bisons was one for the ages. He averaged 47.8 yards per kick with a net of 39.5 and an impressive hang time of 4.06 seconds in 2021, with the ability to consistently place kicks at the next level.

6. Jamieson Sheahan, University of California-Berkley (Australia)

One of the youngest available punters at 25 years old, Sheahan has averaged 43.4 yards per punt and 39.8 yards net for his career. While he has landed just 40 punts inside his opponent’s 20-yard line, his career 27.7 return percentage shows good placement.

7. Xavier Subotsch, Appalachian State University (Australia)

A five-year contributor for the Mountaineers who graduated in 2021, Subotsch has a smaller leg than other punters in this class, but has good placement with just 29 percent of his career kicks returned. He has a 38.5-yard career net average and 3.82 seconds of hang time.

Photo courtesy: MVSU Athletics

8. Orlando Fernandez, Mississippi Valley State University (Mexico)

The best three-tool kicker available, Fernandez has handled punts, kickoffs and field goals for the past three seasons with the Delta Devils. He averaged 41.3 yards per punt, 57.2 yards per kickoff, and connected on 20-of-36 career field goals, including a 50-yarder, but can’t be considered elite in any one category.

9. Luke Magliozzi, Troy University (Australia)

Out of football last season, Magliozzi last suited up in 2021 with the Trojans after transferring from UConn. In three seasons, the hulking six-foot-three, 222-pound punter notched a net average of 38.7 yards and 3.8 seconds of hang time.

10. Trent Schneider, University of South Florida (Australia)

Last active in 2020, Schneider set six punting records at USF and booted 51 kicks of over 50 yards – nearly a third of all his career attempts. The 33-year-old also handled kickoff duties early in his career, averaging 54.5 yards per kick.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.