Seven players from district colleges earn CFL roster spots
Once again, the Canadian Football League will have a handful of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference players in its ranks. They will be joined by two former Division I standouts from district schools.
The Division II PSAC has five players on CFL rosters after Saturday’s final cutdowns: Trevor Harris (Edinboro), Ian Wild (Mercyhurst, via Baldwin), Tommie Campbell (Cal (Pa.), via Aliquippa), Julian Howsare (Clarion) and Andrew Peirson (Gannon). Former Pitt linebacker Seun Idowu made the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ roster, and Lorenzo Jerome (St. Francis) joined the reigning Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders.
Harris will open the season as Edmonton’s starting quarterback after leading the Ottawa Redblacks to the Grey Cup title game in 2018. In seven CFL seasons, Harris has thrown for 18,155 yards and 104 touchdowns. Last season, he threw for a career-best 5,116 yards.
Wild, a linebacker, shifts from the Western Conference to the Eastern. He joined the Toronto Argonauts after spending the previous six seasons with Winnipeg. Wild has 245 tackles, including eight sacks, in his career and has scored three defensive touchdowns.
Campbell, a defensive back who spent part of his collegiate career at Pitt, enters his fourth CFL season and second with Montreal. He has six career interceptions.
Howsare enters his second season with Hamilton. A defensive lineman, he started six games last season, recording three sacks and forcing a fumble.
Peirson started last season on British Columbia’s practice squad before injuries opened a spot for him on the Lions’ offensive line. He started the final five games of the regular season at center.
Idowu made the Roughriders roster as an undrafted free agent after his career at Pitt. The Roughriders are under the direction of general manager Jeremy O’Day, an Edinboro graduate.
Jerome, who made the San Francisco 49ers 53-man roster for the opening of the 2017 season, earned his spot with the Stampeders as an undrafted free agent. In Calgary’s final preseason game Friday, Jerome forced a fumble at the goal line to prevent a British Columbia touchdown and had a 39-yard return of a free kick following a safety.
Calgary is under the direction of general manager John Hufnagel, a Montour graduate and former standout quarterback at Penn State. With the Stampeders’ victory in the Grey Cup last season, Hufnagel has won a Cup as a player, coach and GM.
The CFL season opens Thursday.
Chuck Curti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .