Written by: Mike Still (@mikestill94)
The CFL unveiled its full list of regional combine participants today, and 14 Manitobans have made the cut, as well as one incoming Manitoba Bison recruit. Five of the nine selected athletes come from the Bisons program, two from the Winnipeg Rifles (PFC), and one each from the Minot State Beavers (NCAA Division II) Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West), Calgary Dinos (Canada West) and Calgary Colts . The incoming recruit, Tyson Thompson, is a former member of both the Bishops Gaitors (RSEQ) as well as the Westshore Rebels (BCFC).
Below is a breakdown of each of the players invited.
Jayden McKoy, DB, Manitoba Bisons: McKoy has done it all for the Herd during his career. His 13 total interceptions puts him third all-time in program history, and he has also recorded 150 total tackles. McKoy’s versatility has shown over the years, specifically in 2016 and 2017, where he played both safety and halfback. He was also a team captain last season and was honoured with his first career Canada West All-Star selection.
When asked after the 2017 season about his versatility, he said “I feel like I’m a bit more natural at the free safety position, but I’ll go in there at half and just do my job.”
Tyler Fong, DB, Manitoba Bisons: Fong has been a valuable leader in Manitoba’s secondary ever since stepping on campus in 2013. He’s a three-time captain with strong range who hits like a mack truck. Injuries have hampered the veteran for the past few seasons, but his journey, both on and off the field, is one that many players can look up to.
Anthony Daley, OL, Manitoba Bisons: Daley spent the last two seasons with the Bisons, and was a captain last year. Prior to joining the Herd, he enjoyed tremendous success with Langley Rams of the BCFC, earning two All-Canadian selections while also attending BC Lions training camp on three separate occasions as a territorial exemption.
James Mau, LB, Manitoba Bisons: Mau had a breakout season as Manitoba’s starting middle linebacker in 2017, finishing fourth in the conference in total tackles with 48, while also adding a sack, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Aside from his contributions as a linebacker, Mau was also a stud on special teams for the better part of four seasons.
“I walked into training camp with a lot of confidence, just knowing that I knew the playbook better than anybody else did because I’m a fifth-year guy,” Mau said at the end of the year regarding his 2017 performance. “I really worked hard in the offseason, on and off the field and dedicated a lot of time to football.”
Stephen Ugbah, WR, Manitoba Bisons: A member of the roster since 2014, Ubgbah had the best season of his U SPORTS career last year, hauling in 15 receptions for 2016 yards and a touchdown. Ugbah has battled injuries over the past few years, but when healthy is a deep playmaking threat with solid athleticism.
Taylor Maloney, WR, Minot State: Maloney wreaked havoc as a member of Brandon’s Crocus Plains Plainsmen in high school, earning himself looks both north and south of the border. Over the past four years with the Beavers, Maloney has amassed 444 yards receiving, including a career-high 323 yards this past year.
Odun Ogidan, RB, Winnipeg Rifles: One half of the two-headed monster in the Rifles backfield for the past few seasons, Ogidan amassed 964 rushing yards over four years, after only playing football competitively for two years previously. He’s dangerous to tackle in space and has a high motor.
Micheal Ritchott, RB, Winnipeg Rifles: Ritchott was nothing short of stellar during his tenure with the Rifles. He tallied a whopping 2,179 yards on the ground from 2014-17, and also added 861 yards and two scores as one of the league’s most dangerous kick returners. He’s also got professional experience, having participated in the Blue Bomber’s rookie camp for the past two years.
Dylan Minshull, RB, Calgary Colts: Minshull was an unstoppable force for Brandon’s Neelin Spartans in high school, and has carried his success to the junior football ranks, registering 2,070 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns over three years with the Colts. The former conference all-star’s playoff numbers are just as impressive, as in four contests, he’s averaged over 100 yards rushing with four total scores.
Brooks Falloon, DB, Saskatchewan Huskies: Falloon – a former All-Canadian with the Winnipeg Rifles and native of St. Lazare, Manitoba – has been an integral part of the Huskies secondary for the past two years, amassing 76.5 tackles as well as two interceptions. His presence was particularly felt last year as a veteran amidst a group of relatively young teammates on the back end.
Curtis Krahn, OL, Calgary Dinos: Krahn, who enjoyed success with the Winnipeg Rifles before joining the Dinos roster in 2015, has been a mainstay on Calgary’s offensive line. With his help, the team has won two straight Hardy Cup titles, while also providing blanket-like protection to whoever is under centre.
Tyson Thompson, OL, Westshore Rebels: Thompson was a dominant force for the past two years with the Rebels, earning a conference all-star selection in 2017. He’s endured some health struggles in the past, but is currently in the best shape of his career and ready to make an impact either in the CFL or with the Bisons.
“This year I was able to start reaching my full potential and start turning into the player I’ve always wanted to be,” he told manitobafootballfeed back in December. “Hopefully I can continue to do that over the next two years.”