Just seventeen picks into the first round of the 2017 CFL Draft, two members of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies were off the board.
Offensive lineman Evan Johnson was taken in the first round, 9th overall by the Ottawa Redblacks. Receiver Julan Lynch was taken in the second round, 17th overall by the Calgary Stampeders.
In all, three Huskies went on draft day. Mitch Hillis was taken in the 8th round, 69th overall by the BC Lions.
“Just super excited to have the chance to go to a pro camp,” Johnson said, a 6-4, 280 lb lineman from Regina. “Training camp is in three weeks so need to continue the workouts and be strong and in shape.”
Johnson is the sixth Huskies player to ever be taken in the first round. He played in every game over a four-year university career.
“I think (the draft) became a possibility last year after the East-West bowl,” Johnson said. “When I got an invite to the national combine it started to get real.”
For Lynch, there may not have been a CFL Draft if not for the Huskies, and the recruitment of former head coach Brian Towriss.
“I didn’t think I would play football after high school until he met with me,” he said. Lynch would go on to play four seasons in the green and white, catching for 1133 yards and seven touchdowns.
“He gave me an opportunity to play football at this level.”
Saskatoon’s Mitch Hillis was the third and final Huskies player taken in the draft when BC picked him in the 8th round. Over 4 years he has racked up over 2000 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.