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CIS athletes dominate CFL E-Camp invitations

TSN.ca Staff

2/19/2011 1:46:33 PM

Forty-five CIS players have been invited to the 2011 Canadian Football League Evaluation Camp set to take place in Toronto from March 4 to 6.

Canadian Interuniversity Sport student-athletes make up 85 percent of the 53 participants announced Thursday by the CFL.

The three-day event is an opportunity for general managers, coaches and scouts to test, interview and evaluate prospects who they may select in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft on Sunday, May 8.

"This is an enormously important weekend for these talented prospects and we wish them luck in making the most of this rare opportunity," said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. "It's an equally significant event for all of us in the CFL. Our teams are only as strong as their Canadian talent, and a CFL franchise is only as strong as the connection between its fans and their fellow Canadians on the field."

Twenty-three of the 26 CIS football programs will be represented at the event.

The Calgary Dinos, CIS finalists each of the past two seasons, and the reigning OUA champion Western Ontario Mustangs lead the way with four invitees apiece. The Laval Rouge et Or, who captured their fifth Vanier Cup in eight years last November, are one of four teams with three participants.

Ottawa quarterback Brad Sinopoli, the reigning Hec Crighton Trophy winner, and St. Francis Xavier linebacker Henoc Muamba, the 2010 Presidents' Trophy recipient as the best defensive player in the nation, are among the CIS players who hope to impress CFL teams in two weeks.

Sinopoli is one of two CIS pivots who will make the trip to Toronto, along with Regina's Marc Mueller. A year ago, three CIS quarterbacks were invited including two-time Hec Crighton winner Erik Glavic of Calgary, 2009 Vanier Cup MVP Danny Brannagan of Queen's and Justin Dunk of Guelph. Brannagan was later signed by Toronto and even took the field in the Argonauts' regular season finale.

Other notables who will take part in the E-Camp include Calgary slotback Anthony Parker and Queen's offensive tackle Matthew O'Donnell, who represented CIS in January at the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida.

Also of note, Laval's Christopher Milo and Alberta's Hugh O'Neill will become only the third and fourth kickers to attend the camp in 10 years. Guelph's Rob Maver, who was invited a year ago, was later selected fifth overall by Calgary in the CFL Canadian Draft and went on to lead the CFL in scoring in 2010 with 185 points. UBC's Duncan O'Mahony participated in 2001 and enjoyed an eight-year CFL career.