CFL Pass

Canadians Bowling: Three top CFL prospects in upcoming bowl games

Arjen “The Canadian Flash” Colquhoun, DB, #36, Michigan State
Currently ranked no. 5 on the CFL prospects top 20 list, Colquhoun and one of college football’s top secondaries have been red hot going into the Spartans’ Cotton Bowl matchup against many observers’ pick to win it all, the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Of course, a nearly one-month break tends to kinda cool off the blazingest of winning streaks.)

After claiming his spot in the MSU starting lineup from opening day, Colquhoun ran up 39 tackles, one sack, 10 passes defensed and two interceptions. In four games following the 39-38 loss to Nebraska in early November in which Colquhoun’s near-pick on the penultimate play almost preserved the Spartans’ perfect record, the cornerback has accounted for 11 tackles and two interceptions.

Stud wide receiver Amari Cooper may have ascended into the NFL ranks, but in Alabama, the Spartans get the nation’s no. 5 ranked offense in time of possession; Colquhoun himself will be seeing lots of Cooper’s replacement, freshman Calvin Ridley, in one-one-one coverage and beyond.

And Colquhoun’s prospects for 2016? CBS Sports, among others already playing the mock draft game, forecasts the Toronto native as a sixth- to seventh-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft; we should therefore probably expect Colquhoun to spend next summer trying to land with some team in the big league.

Josiah St. John, OT, #55, Oklahoma
Despite their fourth seed in the BCS championship tournament, the Sooners have become something of a vogue pick to win the Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers. To do so, St. John and his guys on the offensive line will have to hold off a defense which is statistically no. 7 overall in the BCS in 2015 and was tops in total yards allowed in ’14.

(One saving grace for the Oklahoma offense will be inconsistency from which said fearsome Tiger D has recently seen, e.g. annihilating Florida 58-0 and surrendering 41 to North Carolina State the next.)

The Sooners OL has been a five-man blocking machine since a 24-17 mid-October loss in which the lowly Texas Longhorns defense owned them all day and soon had local media crying apocalypse. (No, seriously, check out this video coverage; does this guy remember making such a doom-and-gloom proclamation?) In the subsequent seven games, the Sooners offense has averaged 52 points per game, including three wins over top 20-ranked teams.

Unfortunately for the hyped St. John, he’s only recently found his game. After getting bumped from the starting lineup in the opening week game against Akron(!), the redshirt senior has started in just the last four games for the Sooners. The good news: He’s slated as a starter for the New Year’s Eve game.

St. John seems unlikely to get a call on NFL Draft Day, having amassed such a small body of work for scouts to consider after spending two years at Fresno City College and his third year of eligibility on the sidelines. With the premium consideration given to linemen in the CFL Draft, seeing St. John on a CFL roster next season wouldn’t be extremely surprising at all.

Tevaun Smith, WR, #4, Iowa
If anyone deserves to have his NFL Draft stock rise after a single play, it’s Tevaun Smith – unless it’s C.J. Beathard:

Smith entered his senior year as a Top 200 NFL Draft prospect and has had a decent, if not awe-inspiring, season with Iowa. His stat line for 2015 reads: 30 receptions for 546 yards with three TDs – and that 85-yarder, said to be the longest pass play in Hawkeyes history.

Not exactly mind-blowing stuff, but CFLpass has the feeling that a good performance in the Rose Bowl and a respectable showing at the Combine might just get enough attention to land somewhere in the US. After all, the dude clearly has skills…

As for the Rose Bowl itself, Smith could get his three to five receptions, but at least one guy in-the-know figures on a paucity of passing from both Iowa and opponents Stanford:

“It’s going to be smashmouth football,” Stanford defensive end Aziz Shittu said. “The game is scheduled for 3½ hours. It’s probably going to end in three hours the way both teams are going to run the ball.

Nevertheless, whenever Smith is called upon, fans on both sides of the International Boundary will be paying attention – like when he was playing high-school ball in Toronto...

– written by Os Davis