Former Florida International defensive lineman Noah Curtis added to the 2023 CFL Draft

Photo courtesy: Eric Espada/FIU Athletics

The 2023 CFL Draft has been given a major shake-up late in the process, as former Florida International University defensive lineman Noah Curtis has been granted eligibility, according to league sources.

The six-foot-six, 279-pound defender was raised in Riviera Beach, Fla. but qualifies as Canadian through his mother, who hails from Port Dover, Ont. He learned of his potential CFL eligibility after attending a tryout with the Edmonton Elks and successfully received his Canadian citizenship less than two weeks ago.

Curtis played four seasons for FIU from 2017 to 2020, suiting up in 41 games. He amassed 106 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and three sacks over that span, earning an honourable mention All-Conference USA selection at defensive end in 2018.

The former three-star recruit was eligible for selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and participated in the Hula Bowl, Tropical Bowl, and College Gridiron Showcase before ultimately going unselected. He spent the 2021 season out of football, working for Amazon and at the local Ritz-Carlton.

Despite burning his NCAA eligibility, Curtis was able to return to school in 2022 for Keiser University, a program in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). He suited up for 14 games as a Seahawk, recording 37 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

The newly Canadian prospect recently took part in FIU’s Pro Day on February 16, clocking 5.03 seconds in the forty-yard dash. He was also credited with a 31.5-inch vertical, nine-foot, one-inch broad jump, 4.49-second short shuttle, 7.66-second three-cone, and 25 reps on the bench.

Curtis’s late inclusion, which was formalized just last week, is expected to throw a wrench into the predicted selection order. All nine teams have spoken with the prospect and his size and NCAA pedigree could see him picked as early as the first round.

The 2023 CFL Draft is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. 3DownNation will be providing live coverage throughout, both on our website and on YouTube.

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.