Football: 5 CIS alums vying for 'Riders cornerback job

It might be unprecedented in recent CFL history. The Saskatchewan Roughriders, as reported in the Regina Leader-Post, six Canadian candidates for their open spot at cornerback, which has long been a domain of Americans.
"The list of candidates for the job includes three raw rookies: (Tamon) George, the Regina product whom the Roughriders selected in the second round of the 2009 Canadian college draft; Joel Lipinski, another Reginan who signed as a free agent in the offseason; and, Jeff Zelinski, a fifth-round pick in 2008 who played with Lipinski in the secondary of the Saint Mary's Huskies last season.

"Three CFL veterans also are in the running: Donovan Alexander, whom Saskatchewan acquired in February from the Als for two draft picks; Leron Mitchell, who played in two games for the Roughriders last season before suffering a season-ending broken leg; and Konrad Wasiela, who dressed for three games with the Roughriders in 2008.
Perhaps more remarkable is five of the six played at Canadian Interuniversity Sport schools (Mitchell played at Western and Wasiela was a Saskatchewan Huskie). Alexander, a Winnipegger who played at North Dakota, is the only one who played in the NCAA.

Granted, part of this is a reflection that the CFL has become a slotback league. Teams might be putting more focus on lining up their best secondary players at the halfback and safety positions. The field-side wide receiver tends to see the ball the least out of all the receiver positions, so a team doesn't have to use its best defender at the corner.

Nevertheless, it's progress, since there was a time when a Canadian at the corner was rarer than a six-leaf clover. The 'Riders have six in camp.

A Canadian likely to play cornerback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post)
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