Top CFL prospects to watch at the Vanier Cup

When UBC and Montreal take the field to contend for the Vanier Cup on Saturday scouts will have a close eye on prospects eligible for the 2016 CFL Draft.

Personnel men around the professional three-down league are curious to see how these young men perform under pressure with Canada’s national university football championship on the line.

“It helps immensely when a kid is clutch in big games,” a CFL scout says. ”Stocks would certainly rise if players make a lot of plays because that’s what you’re looking for.

“I’ve been to so many workouts and players ask for another try in testing events. I say, ‘Why the hell didn’t you run it properly the first time?’ When you get on that field [for the Vanier Cup] you’re not going to get an opportunity to do it again, so this is critical.”

There are many different factors that go into an evaluation of a player and pro teams like finding out who can step up when the lights are shining brightest.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch the Montreal Carabins face off against the UBC Thunderbirds in the 2015 Arcelormittal Vanier Cup presented by Promutuel Assurance on all regional Sportsnet channels Saturday with coverage starting at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT.

While Montreal’s roster is filled with young CFL-calibre talent whose names should pop up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, UBC is flush with more 2016 draft-eligible prospects. Here’s the list, with comments from several CFL scouts.

Taylor Loffler, DB, UBC

Scouts’ take: “He’s got good height—six-foot-three—and range. He’ll come up and stick you. He’s going to be a player in the CFL there’s no doubt about it.”

“He’ll be a good pick—you don’t go to Boise State for nothing. He’s added a great deal to that UBC defence. He flies around and makes plays.”

“He’s a good one. He’s playing safety right now and his eyes are seeing different things—patterns develop and reading run. It’s a great training ground for him to be back there because I could project him to be a free safety in the CFL.”

“The thing about him is he’s so tall. There are not a lot of Canadian kids who come out that have his size at the free-safety position. He’s got great range.”

“Loffler could be a first-rounder.”

Dominique Termansen, DB, UBC

Scouts’ take: “He’s a good athlete that moves well and can be physical.”

“A special-teams prospect who could be a mid- to late-round pick.”

“Good size and ability to transition. He has the tools to play at the next level. Combine and workouts will show if he has the mindset and everything else that is needed to play in the pros.”

Terrell Davis, LB, UBC

Scouts’ take: “He’s like a puppy that’s growing into a nice-looking dog. He’s learning, getting more comfortable and making plays. He flies sideline-to-sideline.”

“He’s a physical kid who’s got some good size. He definitely has some ability. He’ll be able to come and run down on special teams right away in the CFL.”

“His athleticism is helping him. His first game compared to the last game he played has shown he’s definitely improved in terms of what he’s seeing and how he’s reacting. A lot of kids they’ll be slow to read and late to react. He’s starting to get it.”

“It’s pretty impressive what the kid has done. He’s only going to get better—arrow pointing way up for Davis. He has that athleticism and I see him as a pro.”

Mitch Barnett, LB, UBC

Scouts’ take: “Mitch’s dad, Bruce, played with the BC Lions and he also played at UBC—some pretty good genetics working. Mitch has done some pretty darn good things.”

“He’s got some decent size—about six-foot, six-foot-one—and he’s been moving around and making plays. He started at Simon Fraser but then he went to UBC where his dad went to school.”

Alec Pennell, OL, UBC

Scouts’ take: “He’s this big kid—six-foot-seven and well over 300 lb. The scouts like him because of his length. I wouldn’t say he’s athletic, but I wouldn’t say he’s a slug.”

“He’s got some movement skills. He carries his weight well and doesn’t look sloppy.”

Quinn van Gylswyk, K/P, UBC

Scouts’ take: “Phenomenal. Absolutely he could do all three—kick-offs, punting and field goals—at the next level. This kid is the real deal. Consistency is the key. He can launch the ball.”

“The kid is six-foot-four so he has physics working for him. He’s a very special one. He’s been golden in the playoffs. You want a guy that can give you points when you need them because if you don’t get them that can kill you and he can do that.”

“Quinn’s been garnering some NFL interest.”

Maiko Zepeda, DB/LB, Montreal

Scouts’ take: “Zepeda’s a defensive back/linebacker type, but he’s only five-foot-eight, so he’s limited that way.”

“When you’re short you need something special. The kid is a football player. He’s physical and he’ll come and hit you.”

“He would be looked at as a special teams player in the CFL.”

(Photo:Scouts say UBC defensive back Taylor Loffler could be a first-round pick in the CFL Draft. (Photo: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds)

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