Laval Rouge et Or defensive lineman Mathieu Betts is the top-ranked player in the CFL Scouting Bureau's December rankings for the 2019 Canadian draft.
It's the first time a U Sports product has been ranked No. 1 since Manitoba's David Onyemata — now in his third season with the NFL's New Orleans Saints — topped the final rankings ahead of the 2016 draft.
Betts, a Montreal native who helped his team win the Vanier Cup last month, was No. 2 in the first rankings released in August. He also has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla., an annual all-star event for college seniors.
Betts became the first player in history to claim the J.P. Metras Trophy (outstanding down lineman in U Sports) three times and the first to win four major U Sports awards during his career after registering a league-leading nine sacks this season.
Oklahoma State offensive lineman Shane Richards of Calgary, Arkansas State receiver Justin McInnis of Pierrefonds, Que., Tennessee defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo of Surrey, B.C., and Kansas offensive lineman Alex Fontana of Toronto round out the top five.
Laval receiver Alexandre Savard of Quebec City (seventh) and Laurier Golden Hawks receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. of Ottawa (ninth) are the other U Sports players in the top 10.
The only quarterback on the 20-player list is UBC's Michael O'Connor. The Orleans, Ont., native is No. 19.
The final rankings will be released in April. The draft usually is held in May.
Winter Scouting Bureau Rankings (previous rank):
1. (2) Mathieu Betts DL
2. (4) Shane Richards OL
3. (5) Justin McInnis REC
4. (1) Jonathan Kongbo DL
5. (9) Alex Fontana OL
6. (3) Hergy Mayala REC
7. (10) Alexandre Savard REC
8. (11) Maleek Irons RB
9. (13) Kurleigh Gittens Jr. REC
10. (7) Brady Oliveira RB
11. (18) Maurice Simba OL
12. (15) Robbie Smith DL
13. (14) Kaion Julien Grant REC
14. (19) Fraser Sopik LB
15. (17) Jamie Harry DB
16. (12) Samuel Thomassin OL
17. (8) Zach Wilkinson OL
18. (-) Trivel Pinto REC
19. (20) Michael O’Connor QB
20. (-) Nate Anderson DL