For some this coming Saturday is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents its National Signing Day.
The day is earmarked every year on June 1st, the day in which players can finally sign with a CJFL club. When a player signs he is essentially signing for his entire junior football career as the player then becomes the property of that team.
Some players have attended multiple Spring Camps to get an idea of their best fit. So many considerations are made before signing with a CJFL club; location, team support, roster depth, coaching staff, scholarship program, etc all weighs in on a player’s decision.
National Signing Day is not only exciting for the players, but the coaches as well. Their ideas, hopes and hard work will finally come to fruition as they start to fill their roster spots.
Following Saturday coaches can continue to recruit and sign a player immediately if he’s a good fit for their team. That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on Saturday.
Once players sign on the dotted line, coaches can begin developing their schemes and systems around their potential starters. They can also begin preparing for their Main Camp along with Week 1 of the regular season.
All three Conferences and 18 CJFL teams will participate on Saturday, signing players to their 2019 roster.
Fans can keep up to date with CJFL National Signing Day on social media with #CJFLSigning as teams will be posting once a player signs.
The Ottawa Sooners will have a new man at the helm this season as they have announced former star quarterback Wayne Jacobs as their new head coach.
Jacobs enjoyed a very successful playing career which included an outstanding stint quarterbacking the Sooners and was highly recruited across North America. He left Ottawa for Texas to quarterback for the University of Texas-El Paso Miners (NCAA Divison 1). After UTEP, he returned home to be the starting quarterback for the University of Ottawa GeeGees.
Following his collegiate career, Jacobs travelled to Europe to play professionally. He played for the Lyon Falcons (France 1st Division), Landquart/Calanda Broncos (Euro and Swiss Premier League), and the Oslo Vikings (Norwegian 1st Division and Euro Champions League).
Since retiring from his playing days Jacobs has been coaching quarterbacks for over 20 years. His coaching career started at the tender age of 17 at the city and high school level. When his playing career took him to Europe, Jacobs brought his extensive coaching knowledge and passion with him to the European leagues. He served as the offensive coordinator and then head coach of the Oslo Under-19 Team. He also spent time working with the quarterbacks for the Swiss Junior National Team.
Once returning to Canada, Jacobs expanded his resume serving as the quarterback coach for the University of Ottawa GeeGees, the CEGEP d’Outaouais Griffons, the head coach of the Ottawa Invaders, and the passing game coordinator and quarterback coach for the Saint Mary’s University Huskies.
He is currently coaching in Europe, but will return to the Sooners in plenty of time before they open the season August 17th when they travel to Hamilton to take on the Hurricanes.
It was an incredible day for the CJFL with nine former players being selected in the CFL Draft on Thursday.
Not only was the Draft incredible but it was a historical one as Shane Richards becomes just the third player with CJFL experience to be selected #1 overall. The offensive lineman tips the scales at 6’8 and 325 pounds and was taken by the Toronto Argos. Former Okanagan Sun Chad Folk was taken in the top spot in 1997 and former Edmonton Huskie Simeon Rottier was selected #1 overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009.
He was a standout for the Calgary Colts before getting an opportunity to shine in the Big 12 at Oklahoma State University (OSU).
In March Richards declined to participate at the CFL National Combine after performing the same drills the week before at the OSU Pro Day. He hit 22 reps on the bench and reached 27 inches in the vertical jump.
He was in Toronto earlier this week meeting with the Argos and was potentially discussing a contract.
The seven other CJFL players taken in Thursday’s draft include the following:
Rd 3 Pick 28 - Zack Williams - Rifles – Calgary Stampeders
Rd 4 Pick 33 - Hakeem Johnson - Beefs – BC Lions
Rd 5 Pick 40 - Shai Ross - Sun – Edmonton Eskimos
Rd 5 Pick 42 - Jonathan Harke - Wildcats – BC Lions
Rd 6 Pick 49 - Charles Nwoye - Rams – BC Lions
Rd 6 Pick 52 - Tariq Lachance - Rifles/Colts – Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Rd 6 Pick 54 - Chris Larsen - Rebels - Ottawa RedBlacks
Rd 8 Pick 69 - Jamel Lyles - Rebels – BC Lions