Games Insight and Analysis

Tomorrow’s Stars: 20 players primed to break out in 2019

Tomorrow's Stars: 20 players primed to break out in 2019

Probably the most talked about storylines this low season has been the departure of a few of the CFL’s well-known stars to the large league south of the border.

Diontae Spencer, D’haquille Williams and Alex Singleton are just some of the noteworthy gamers which have landed NFL alternatives, parlaying productive seasons into alternatives elsewhere.

The place one door closes, one other one opens. These gamers might be missed, however job openings throughout the league will permit new gamers to thrive and develop into stars, very similar to Williams did in 2018 with the Eskimos when he stepped into the footwear of the departed Brandon Zylstra.

Who will probably be this yr’s Duke Williams? Whereas capping eligibility at 20 profession begins, and in addition avoiding pending free brokers like Tobi Antigha, who in any other case belongs on this record, listed here are 20 gamers on monitor to develop into stars in 2019.

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» Elite receivers headline FA class of ’19
»’s prime 30 pending free brokers


Workforce: MTL | Age: 24 | Begins: Eight

Since taking up as Montreal’s featured tailback, William Stanback was among the many greatest operating backs within the CFL, dashing for 483 yards on 76 carries and a mean of 6.Four yards per try. He added 20 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns, proving to be simply as huge an element within the passing recreation as on the bottom.

At simply 24 years previous, Stanback is a participant to get actually enthusiastic about in 2019. He’s acquired a thick, highly effective body at 6-foot, 233 kilos, however runs quicker than his measurement suggests, having as soon as run a Four.48 within the 40-yard sprint at an NFL regional mix. That uncommon mix of measurement and velocity was on full show within the second half of final season, serving to the Als bounce again from a 1-Eight begin with a Four-5 end to their season. An offence constructed round Stanback might actually make some noise and switch heads subsequent season.


Workforce: BC | Age: 24 | Begins: Eight

When Solomon Elimimian suffered an early-season damage, it was assumed the Lions’ already-struggling run defence would proceed to drop off. That wasn’t the case, as Jordan Herdman stepped into the beginning position and crammed in fairly properly, racking up 56 tackles and two sacks in 18 video games, together with a season-high 12 tackles towards the Ottawa REDBLACKS in his first profession begin.

Herdman was a polarizing prospect popping out of Simon Fraser, as a result of whereas the scouts didn’t rave over his testing, his recreation tape confirmed the make-up of a very good soccer participant. The 24-year-old sophomore carried that into his skilled profession, displaying up with the Lions in 2018 and proving he deserves to be a daily starter on defence and a possible ratio-breaker for years to return.


Staff: CGY | Age: 26 | Begins: 16

You didn’t hear Tre Roberson‘s identify a ton in 2018, however that’s often a great factor for a beginning boundary nook. The 26-year-old was excellent in his first CFL season, displaying he belonged as a daily starter on the league’s most dominant defence. Many, actually, argued that Roberson ought to have gotten the nod over Jordan Williams-Lambert because the West Division’s Most Excellent Rookie.

Along with serving to the Stamps win the 106th Gray Cup introduced by Shaw, Roberson additionally tallied 54 tackles, three interceptions and two pressured fumbles. He’s a constructing block in a Calgary secondary that would lose some gamers to free company.

The Waggle, Episode 141: Permit us to re-introduce ourselves

New co-host Donnovan Bennett and Davis Sanchez deal with how the differing replay guidelines impression soccer on each side of the border, take a deep dive on the Riders’ teaching search and candidates they weren’t granted entry to, and extra as The Waggle re-launches.


Group: CGY | Age: 25 | Begins: 13

Three Stampeders operating backs helped followers overlook about Jerome Messam in 2018, as Terry Williams, Romar Morris and Don Jackson all confirmed flashes of greatness. Whereas Williams and Morris possess the kind of velocity that may change the sport in a single play, there was by no means a doubt who Head Coach Dave Dickenson most popular as Calgary’s function again.

When wholesome, Jackson was among the many CFL’s most efficient operating backs, totaling 924 yards and three touchdowns with a 5.78 common. With the accidents and revolving door at receiver, Jackson turned a centrepiece of the Stamps’ offence, operating the ball eight or extra occasions in each recreation, whereas hitting double-digit carries in each recreation however two. Jackson has the construct and skill of a franchise operating again, and at 25 might see some dashing titles in his future.


Workforce: HAM | Age: 25 | Begins: 1

With Brandon Banks injured and veteran Terrell Sinkfield failing to make a mark, Bralon Addison had one recreation to show to the Ticats he could make an impression. The 25-year-old didn’t disappoint, hauling in seven passes for 103 yards and a landing in his season debut, then within the playoffs going off for 17 catches and 253 yards in two video games.

The previous Oregon Geese pass-catcher match seamlessly into Brandon Banks‘ spot and will get the prospect to hold that into 2019. He’ll slot in completely together with Banks and Jalen Saunders in what was the CFL’s most prolific offence in 2018.


Workforce: SSK | Age: 25 | Begins: 11

Regardless of a scarcity of expertise on this aspect of the border, Tre Mason earned the belief of Chris Jones all through 2018 and have become the Riders’ featured again. Whereas he didn’t fairly get the quantity of a workhorse operating again, hitting double-digit carries solely 4 occasions, there’s lots to be enthusiastic about in relation to the previous third spherical NFL Draft decide.

Mason, a former Auburn star, has a brief, thick body however is quick and fast, providing big-play potential on each contact. He completed his season with 809 yards and a 5.1-yard common, dipping his toe within the CFL waters and setting himself up for extra duty in 2019. Nonetheless simply 25 years previous, Mason might have lastly discovered his long-term soccer house.

Former fourth spherical NFL draft decide Tre Mason performed an enormous position for the Riders in 2018 (The Canadian Press)


Workforce: MTL | Age: 25 | Begins: 20

Eugene Lewis has already damaged out after an 800-yard season, however there’s the potential for far more. The 25-year-old turned the most important issue within the Alouettes’ offence in 2018, main the group in receiving regardless of enjoying with 5 totally different beginning quarterbacks all through the season.

With 318 yards and three touchdowns in his final 4 video games, and a stellar 18.Eight yards per catch in 2018, Lewis is setting himself up for his first 1,000-yard season as a professional receiver. We might quickly be grouping him with one of the best receivers within the Canadian Soccer League.


Group: MTL | Age: 26 | Begins: Eight

Sure, Johnny Manziel belongs on this record. The three-down recreation didn’t come straightforward to the 26-year-old, however give him credit score, when issues obtained troublesome, he took duty and vowed to get higher. And he did. After a dreadful first begin during which he threw 4 interceptions, Manziel’s numbers have been respectable. In his final 5 begins, Manziel accomplished 65 per cent of his passes, averaged Eight.6 yards per try, and threw 5 touchdowns towards simply two interceptions whereas compiling a 2-Three report.

With a large open competitors coming to Als camp, Manziel gained’t be handed something in 2019. But when he takes the job critically and exhibits it subsequent Might, he could possibly be in for a very massive season with the Alouettes — as a result of the expertise alone is unquestioned.


Staff: SSK | Age: 22 | Begins: 10

With the departure of skilled veterans like Bakari Grant and Duron Carter, the Riders found some new expertise at receiver in 2018. Probably the most thrilling may need been Kyran Moore, the diminutive 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver who’s simply as harmful on offence as he’s returning kicks.

At simply 22 years previous, Moore pressured his means into the Riders’ offence mid-season, catching 32 passes for 475 yards in 10 video games. His velocity and shiftiness has drawn comparisons to Brandon Banks, which ought to have Riders followers excited for what’s to return.


Workforce: CGY | Age: 25 | Begins: 11

One other member of the Stampeders’ strolling wounded, Reggie Begelton was primed for an enormous second half of the season earlier than struggling a season-ending damage final September. With Kamar Jorden and DaVaris Daniels sidelined, Begelton put up back-to-back 150-yard video games earlier than struggling an arm damage towards the Argos.

With Jorden’s standing unknown and Eric Rogers and DaVaris Daniels pending free company, the door could possibly be open for Begelton to develop into one of many prime choices within the Stamps’ offence in 2019. The 25-year-old is oozing with expertise.

Accidents opened the door for Reggie Begelton, who’s arrange for an enormous position subsequent season (Adam Gagnon/


Group: CGY | Age: 27 | Begins: 6

Merely an afterthought going into the season, Markeith Ambles made probably the most of his alternative on an injured Stamps receiving corps, being elevated from the follow roster mid-season. After biding his time with Toronto and Calgary, Ambles stepped on the sector and made a direct impression, scoring 4 touchdowns and including 306 yards in six contests.

Ambles, nonetheless simply 27, ought to hit the bottom operating in 2019 after proving himself succesful to Dave Dickenson, Bo Levi Mitchell and the remainder of the Stampeders’ offence.


Group: SSK | Age: 25 | Begins: 18

Accidents have held Derrick Moncrief to 18 video games over the previous two seasons, however the Riders’ linebacker has emerged as an underrated cog on the CFL’s top-rated defence in 2018. It’s straightforward to get misplaced among the many seemingly countless playmakers in Saskatchewan, however Moncrief’s play has not gone unnoticed.

Regardless of the departure of Chris Jones, which might see some modifications in personnel and scheme, Moncrief is in place to have a profession yr in 2019 and, higher but, emerge as one of many league’s premier linebackers.


Staff: EDM | Age: 25 | Begins: 2

Like with all younger operating backs on this aspect of the border, the first concern with rookie Shaq Cooper was whether or not he might maintain up in cross safety. When he did play, Cooper went off, dashing for 144 yards on 25 carries whereas including 44 yards by way of the air.

The speedy operating again had a transparent impression on the Eskimos’ offence every time he spelled C.J. Gable, and for that purpose he ought to see his position improve in 2019. Cooper is one in a handful of younger, up-and-coming operating backs within the CFL.

Shaq Cooper made probably the most of his two video games in 2018 and could possibly be an enormous issue shifting ahead (


Workforce: EDM | Age: 23 | Begins: Eight

Cash Hunter was the Eskimos’ Most Excellent Rookie after beginning eight video games in 2018, a powerful feat on the age of simply 23. Whereas the Esks’ defence struggled, Hunter earned the belief of their teaching employees and asserted himself as a future constructing block on that aspect of the ball.

The Eskimos will look totally different underneath new defensive coordinator Phillip Lolley, however Hunter must be a part of these plans as he appears to construct on a profitable rookie season.


Group: OTT | Age: 26 | Begins: 15

After releasing Kenny Shaw and Josh Stangby earlier than the season, the REDBLACKS had some uncertainty of their receiving corps going into 2018. RJ Harris erased any doubt early, beginning 15 of 16 video games whereas hauling in 49 catches for 697 yards and two touchdowns.

He was a strong fourth choice behind Brad Sinopoli, Greg Ellingson and Diontae Spencer and, with Spencer and probably Ellingson on their approach out the door, could possibly be able to maneuver up within the order in 2019.


Workforce: TOR | Age: 23 | Begins: 13

Even with a powerful pre-season it took Trumaine Washington a while to crack a veteran Argos’ secondary. When he did, nevertheless, it was clear he was right here to remain. The 23-year-old match like a glove within the Argo defence and had the stats to again it up, making 33 tackles and including two interceptions, a landing and a pressured fumble in 13 video games.

Whereas the Argos’ defence might look fairly a bit totally different in 2018, Corey Chamblin has a particular starter within the 5-foot-Eight, 190-pound Louisville product.



Staff: CGY | Age: 23 | Begins: zero

The one participant on the listing with no single begin to his identify, there’s purpose for the hype surrounding 23-year-old Folarin Orimolade. The 5-foot-10, 234-pound defensive finish made fairly an impression on the Stamps final camp, incomes a full-time roster spot and the prospect to decorate for 10 video games.

After recording two sacks and two pressured fumbles in 2018, the NFL departure of James Vaughters and the pending free company of Ja’Gared Davis might elevate Orimolade to a a lot greater position subsequent season. Historical past tells us the Stamps haven’t any drawback scouting and creating defensive position expertise.


Staff: OTT | Age: 24 | Begins: 11

Partly answerable for making Kyries Hebert expendable, Avery Williams is slated for a beginning job in Noel Thorpe’s defence in 2019. The 24-year-old has a brilliant future within the CFL after recording 43 tackles, a sack, two pressured fumbles and a landing in 17 video games. So long as he can maintain down the job, Thorpe’s defence will put his skills to good use.


Group: SSK | Age: 23 | Begins: 1

With Naaman Roosevelt pending free company and Jordan Williams-Lambert NFL-bound, the Riders are skinny at receiver heading into free company. One inner choice might be KD Cannon, who impressed the Riders sufficient to earn a begin in final yr’s Western Semi-Remaining. Cannon brings velocity to the equation, having run a Four.42 on the NFL Mix earlier than discovering his means north of the border.


Staff: EDM | Age: 25 | Begins: 1

After biding his time on the Esks’ apply roster, Miles Shuler is in search of his first huge alternative in 2019. Shuler provides velocity to burn, having run a Four.37 at Northwestern’s Professional Day, and would assist fill the void left by departed receivers Bryant Mitchell and D’haquille Williams. Eskimos receivers have stepped in and had instant success in Jason Maas’ offence, and Shuler seems to be the subsequent man up.


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