Skip to main content


Stalwart receivers top 2024 CFHOF class


S.J. Green and Chad Owens, two receivers who started their careers competing against one another on the Montreal Alouettes’ practice squad in 2009, are entering the Canadian Football Hall of Fame together.

This year’s class was announced on Friday and includes fellow receiver Weston Dressler, defensive back Marvin Coleman, and linebacker/defensive lineman Vince Goldsmith. Former head coach Ray Jauch and former Ottawa regional football association president Ed Laverty will be inducted as builders. The members of the class of 2024 will be officially inducted on Sept. 13 at Tim Hortons Field.

Fifteen years after those early days as CFL unknowns, Owens and Green both look back fondly on getting to learn from Als’ head coach Marc Trestman and contribute to a Grey Cup champion team.

“Those days truly defined me,” Green, a Fort Worth, Texas native, said this week. “I was at a point in my life where football was my everything, but I didn’t feel like football was loving me back. I wanted to be a starter. I felt like I was a starter. I felt like I was better than some of the guys that were actually starting and getting in the rotation.

“But when I put it all into perspective, I needed that time to watch, learn, reflect, and learn how to be a pro…I needed that time to mentally develop and learn the Canadian game.”

Green caught on with the Alouettes full-time in 2010, won two more Grey Cups, and was an eight-time East Division All-Star. He finished his CFL career with a three-year stint with the Toronto Argonauts, where he won a Grey Cup and was an All-Star in 2017.

Owens, who hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, ended his Als’ tenure with just one catch for 10 yards before making a name for himself with the Toronto Argonauts, where he was the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012, won another Grey Cup, set the league record for most all-purpose yards in a single season, and was a five-time East Division All-Star. He also played for the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Like Green, he views his time in Montreal as formative and vital to his future success.

“We all [on that practice roster] probably could have started on any other team,” Owens said. “I learned a lot from that team…[Anthony Calvillo] was still at quarterback, Ben Cahoon, Kerry Watkins, Jamel Richardson…my experience [on the practice roster] wasn’t for nothing. This is all part of the story. It starts there. I understand what championship football looks like. I understand that system, that coach, how it’s operated, how they do things.”

Dressler, a native of Bismarck, N.D., broke in with the Saskatchewan Roughriders around the same time as Owens and Green. He ended his career with 61 touchdowns, more than 10,000 receiving yards, and a 2013 Grey Cup championship.

He played three seasons with the Blue Bombers to end his career, including a 2016 campaign where he had 80 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards.

“Pretty cool to be able to go in with those two,” Dressler said of being in the same class and Green and Owens.

The trio captivated CFL fans for years with highlight-reel catches and memorable moments. They’d follow each other’s highlights and use them as motivation.

“Chad was a guy I always admired because of what he did not only as a receiver, but as a returner,” Dressler said. “Watching him do both of those things at such a high level was an inspiration for me.”

Owens said he would take notes from Dressler.

“I would watch him and how he’d do his routes, how he’d do his waggle, and being undersized like myself and playing big, that’s what he did,” Owens said. “You can elevate each other and motivate each other throughout the course of a season. Weston makes this big play, gets him a touchdown, I know what I’ve gotta do this week. S.J. comes up with a big spectacular catch, [gets on] TSN highlights. Now I want that too.”

Dressler mentioned Green’s famous one-handed grab versus the Riders in 2010 that still makes SportsCentre top 10 lists.

“That catch definitely inspired me,” Dressler said while also speaking of his admiration for Owens. “It’s always fun watching them…I’m so appreciative of what they did for the game.”

Green said he rarely watches the catch these days, but it sometimes shows up on social media. 

“The only time I see it is when it pops up or my kids show me,” he said. “It’s good to see it when it naturally comes up.”

When he sees it, Green thinks of all the behind-the-scenes work that went into that moment in Regina. He’d been cut from the NFL’s New York Jets in May of 2010 and returned to the Als.

“I remember the off-season and the energy that went in with my father-in-law throwing me those awkward balls,” Green said. “He almost threw his shoulder out trying to throw me balls. We practiced it. We worked on one-handed catches. We worked on awkward landings…to see it come to fruition on that day, when I see that catch, that is truly what I think about.”

This year, there will be dozens of players on CFL practice rosters hoping to find success in the Canadian game. Green’s advice for them is simple. 

“Get your weight room in. Get your treatments. Make sure you’re on top of your health,” he said. “Be available…go to practice every day, dominate…you’ve got to perfect your craft and work on your craft, even when you’re not at your mental best…be prepared. Run. Work. Compete.”

Coleman was a three-time CFL All-Star over his decade-long career with the Blue Bombers and Stampeders during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Goldsmith played with the Stampeders, Roughriders, and Argonauts, amassing 130.5 sacks from 1981 to 1990. Jauch won two Grey Cups and was the head coach of Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Saskatchewan between 1970 and 1995.