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PR: Penn State LB Ranked First In Latest Prospect Rankings; CFL Amends Draft Eligibility

OTTAWA NATIVE JESSE LUKETA TOPS WINTER SCOUTING BUREAU

Penn State linebacker ranked first in latest prospect rankings; League amends draft eligibility

Thursday, January 13, 2022 — TORONTO – The Canadian Football League (CFL) Scouting Bureau has published the second edition of the Top-20 prospects eligible for the 2022 CFL Draft.

The CFL Scouting Bureau, comprising player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine clubs, as well as CFL scouts, releases its prospect rankings in fall, winter and spring editions each year.

RankNamePositionSchoolHometown
1 (4)Jesse LuketaLBPenn StateOttawa
2 (7)Jalen PhilpotWRCalgaryDelta, B.C.
3 (6)Enock MakonzoDBCoastal CarolinaLachine, Que.
4 (2)Tyrell RichardsLBSyracuseBrampton, Ont.
5 (15)Tyson PhilpotWRCalgaryDelta, B.C.
6 (10)Tre FordQBWaterlooNiagara Falls, Ont.
7 (–)Deionte KnightDLWesternAjax, Ont.
8 (13)Zack FryOLWesternLondon, Ont.
9 (12)Tyrell FordDBWaterlooNiagara Falls, Ont.
10 (20)Noah ZerrOLSaskatchewanLangenburg, Sask.
11 (14)Peter KozushkaOLAlbertaYorkton, Sask.
12 (19)Jayden DalkeDBAlbertaLeduc, Alta.
13 (18)Adam MachartRBSaskatchewanSaskatoon
14 (–)Josiah SchakelDBAlbertaSherwood Park, Alta.
15 (–)Anthony FedericoDLQueen’sNiagara Falls, Ont.
16 (–)Nathan CherryDLSaskatchewanSaskatoon
17 (–)Joshua ArchibaldDLMcGillMontreal
18 (–)Nate EdwardsLBMcMasterAncaster, Ont.
19 (–)Zach HerzogDBHillsdale CollegeWindsor, Ont.
20 (16)Shaquille St-LotDBMaineMontreal

BY THE NUMBERS

  • The rankings include: six defensive backs, four defensive linemen, three linebackers, three offensive linemen, two receivers, one quarterback and one running back.
  • 13 schools are represented on the list with five schools featuring multiple players:
    • Saskatchewan (No. 10 Noah Zerr, No. 13 Adam Machart and No. 16 Nathan Cherry)
    • Alberta (No. 11 Peter Kozushka, No. 12 Jayden Dalke and No. 14 Josiah Schakel)
    • Calgary (No. 2 Jalen Philpot and No. 5 Tyson Philpot)
    • Waterloo (No. 6 Tre Ford and No. 9 Tyrell Ford)
    • Western (No. 7 Deionte Knight and No. 8 Zack Fry)
  • 15 prospects are from U SPORTS; 5 from NCAA.
  • Seven players made their debuts on the winter rankings: No. 7 Deionte Knight, No. 14 Josiah Schakel, No. 15 Anthony Federico, No. 16 Nathan Cherry, No. 17 Joshua Archibald, No. 18 Nate Edwards and No. 19 Zach Herzog.
  • Seven NCAA players who were on the fall rankings are returning for their senior seasons and have deferred to the 2023 CFL Draft: OL Sidy Sow, OL Dontae Bull, DB Jonathan Sutherland, DL Tavius Robinson, DB Sydney Brown and DL Lwal Uguak.
  • Last year, 18 of the 20 prospects identified in the winter rankings were selected in the 2021 CFL Draft.
  • Of the nine first round selections in the 2021 CFL Draft, five appeared in the winter rankings.

TOP-5 PROSPECTS

1 (4) | JESSE LUKETA | LB | PENN STATE

This season, Luketa racked up 53 tackles (30 solo and 23 assisted), four tackles for a loss, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown against Ball State. In his final game with the Nittany Lions, Luketa recorded nine tackles and a tackle for a loss against Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. The Ottawa native was selected to take part in the Reese’s Senior Bowl later this spring and was invited to the NFL Combine. He finished his career at Penn State with 143 tackles.

2 (7) | JALEN PHILPOT | WR | CALGARY

Philpot is the highest rated U SPORTS prospect in the winter rankings. In 2021, the Delta, B.C., product recorded 35 receptions for 715 yards (20.4 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. His efforts earned him a U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian selection for a second consecutive year. In three seasons with the Dinos, Philpot recorded 113 catches for 1,889 yards and 10 touchdowns.

3 (6) | ENOCK MAKONZO | LB | COASTAL CAROLINA

Makonzo played a key role in Coastal Carolina’s 2021 resurgence as the team went 11-2 and won their bowl game. The LaChine, Que., native accumulated 71 tackles (30 solo and 41 assisted), 10 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles. In 27 career games with the Chanticleers, he notched 150 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles and two sacks.

4 (2) | TYRELL RICHARDS | LB | SYRACUSE

In three seasons with the Syracuse Orange, Richards recorded 54 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks across 31 games. The native of Brampton, Ont., did not play in 2021.

5 (15) | TYSON PHILPOT | WR | CALGARY

A 10-spot leap from the fall rankings brings Tyson into the Top-5 alongside his twin brother, Jalen. In 2021, he caught 41 passes for 746 yards and a U SPORTS-best nine touchdown receptions. Tyson was named a first team All-Canadian and the Canada West Player of the Year. In 16 career games with the Dinos, the Delta, B.C., native recorded 77 receptions for 1,574 yards and 14 touchdowns.

TEMPORARY DRAFT ELIGIBILITY AMENDMENT

In December, CFL General Managers approved a proposal from the Canadian University Football Coaches Association (CUFCA) to amend draft eligibility for U SPORTS athletes.

The amendment permits any U SPORTS 2022 or 2023 CFL Draft-eligible player to defer their draft year to the following year, provided certain conditions are met. The deadline for 2022 CFL Draft-eligible players from U SPORTS institutions to defer their draft year was January 10.

Mark is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. The site was started in March of 2021. Contact him directly by emailing mark.perry@cflnewshub.com

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