CFL Welcomes Six Mustangs
On the evening of Thursday May 3rd it was the 2018 CFL Draft where 69 players were given the opportunity to continue their football dreams on a professional level. 13 Canadian products playing their post-secondary Football in the NCAA, joined 56 U Sports Football athletes in having their names called by teams from the Canadian Football League. The University of Calgary Dinos were best represented by having 8 of their student athletes drafted, but not too far behind was the Western Mustangs with 6 Vanier Cup Champions selected. David Mackie, Jean-Gabriel Poulin, Jordan Beaulieu, David Brown, Alex Taylor and Harry McMaster are the newest of the 33 Western Mustangs to be drafted into the CFL in just the last 10 years.
David Mackie – FB – BC Lions – 2nd Round (16th overall)
The first Mustangs to see his name called in the draft was Jackson’s Point, Ontario native David Mackie. The BC Lions in the 2nd round, with a draft pick they got via a trade from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, selected the Fullback. Playing in at least one game in all 5 seasons at Western, David joined the Mustangs from Bill Crothers Secondary School. Despite never scoring a regular season touchdown in his OUA career, Dave was a vital piece for Offensive Coordinator Steve Snyder in his final season. A ‘swiss army knife’ that could run the ball or catch it, it’s his long-snapping capabilities on Special Teams in .6 seconds that has caught the attention of the NFL, with the New York Giants recently sending an invite to David to participate in their upcoming mini-camp.
Jean-Gabriel Poulin – LB – Montreal Alouettes – 3rd Round (23rd overall)
Home is where the heart is and despite Saint Nicolas, Quebec being a two and half hour drive from Montreal, JG is going home. Trading Quarterback Vernon Adams to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, allowed the Montreal Alouettes to select the man who gave OUA Quarterbacks nightmares for 4 seasons in the 3rd round. Coming to Western from Vanier College (CEGEP), his impact on the field was felt immediately, with his 16.5 total tackles in his freshman year resulting in making the OUA All-Rookie team in 2014. In the last two seasons of his University career, he was a two time OUA First Team All-Star, 2016 Second Team All-Canadian and a 2017 First Team All-Canadian. After defeating the Acadia Axemen by a record setting 81-3 in the 2017 Uteck Bowl, when asked about the defence’s performance he responded by saying ‘we weren’t perfect.’
Jordan Beaulieu – DB – Edmonton Eskimos – 3rd Round (24th overall)
In a pretty special moment for both the players and school, back to back Quebec born Mustangs defenders were drafted into professional football. After taking Laurier Golden Hawks Defensive Back Godfrey Onyeka in the 2nd round with their first pick in the draft, the Edmonton Eskimos selected another Defensive Back in Jordan Beaulieu. Jordan would become the first of three Mustangs to trade in their purple/white for green/gold on the evening with Alex Taylor and Harry McMaster eventually joining him. From John Abbott College (CEGEP), he was a member of the 2014 OUA All-Rookie team and would go on to never miss a single game in his University career. Arguably even more eye catching then his durability, was his ability to produce offence from defence, with 24 points accumulated as a Mustang.
David Brown – OL – Calgary Stampeders – 4th Round (28th overall)
The unsung heroes of a football team are always the linemen, especially on offence. If the star Quarterback has time on his side to throw downfield or a stud Running Back breaks through a gaping hole for a big gain, you can most likely thank one of, if not all the boys on the line. The Calgary Stampeders recognized that fact, when they traded the Hamilton Tigercats for the 28th overall pick and selected David Brown. Despite only playing in two regular season games in his first two seasons out of London’s Regina Mundi Catholic High School (RMC) in 2013. Waiting patiently in the shadows behind players like Eddie Meredith and Sean Jamieson (Both Offensive Linemen drafted to CFL from Western), David outgrew the shadows his final three seasons at Western. He was named an OUA Second Team All-Star in 2016, as well as an OUA First Team All-Star and First Team All-Canadian in his final season.
Alex Taylor – RB – Edmonton Eskimos – 6th Round (48th overall)
The third of five Running Backs chosen in the 2018 CFL Draft, Edmonton has drafted Running Back Tanner Green from Concordia University in the 4th round prior to taking Alex Taylor in the 6th. A steal this late in the draft, Taylor was a touchdown per game kind of player in his time at Western. In 26 OUA regular season games, he had 26 touchdowns and the second most rushing yards in Mustangs history with 3106, on a mere 377 carries. One thing that was a cause for concern was the 8 lost fumbles during his first 19 regular season games, but that number dropped to 0 in his final season which had him carry the ball 107 times and accumulate 831 yards. A full trophy case of team and personal accomplishments, he leaves campus being named a three time OUA All-Star and All-Canadian.
Harry McMaster – WR – Edmonton Eskimos – 7th Round (53rd overall)
They say you leave the best for last, the final Mustang to be drafted, also concluded the trio taken by the Edmonton Eskimos in Harry McMaster. Coming into Western as the first recipient of the Doug Aitchson Award as Niagara Falls Football MVP, McMaster didn’t get to see the field his first two seasons out of St. Paul’s Catholic High School. In 2015 however, he broke onto the OUA scene with 4 TD receptions on 27 receptions, playing in all 8 regular season games. He would finish his time with 10 TD and over 1350 yards in 23 regular season games during his OUA career. This last season when Quarterback Chris Merchant was given the proper time and space to heave the pigskin downfield, ‘The Don’ Harry McMaster was usually found a step behind the opposition reeling it in.
All six players leave the campus of the Western University as defending Yates Cup, Uteck Bowl and Vanier Cup Champions. That’s something nobody can take away from them as they start their new chapter of their football lives. The individual accomplishment of being drafted, is just the first of many new stepping stones, as these Mustangs will now join new brotherhoods in the CFL. Taking their winning experiences at Western and looking to apply them to help a franchise capture a Grey Cup.