A pair of Gee-Gees defensive standouts was selected in the 2018 CFL Draft on Thursday. Jackson Bennett, a defensive back from Orleans, Ont., and linebacker Khadim Mbaye from Montreal were among the 56 U SPORTS prospects selected in this year’s draft. Despite not having his name called on draft night, running back Bryce Vieira, a native of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Qué., signed as a free agent with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.
Jackson Bennett was selected by Hamilton with the eleventh overall pick. Bennett was the second pick of the second round and was the third pick of the night made by Hamilton after the black and yellow procured a receiver and an offensive lineman with the first and sixth overall picks, respectively. Bennett, an environmental sciences student, was the third non-lineman to be selected in the draft and the sixth U SPORTS player selected on the night.
Bennett also became the highest-drafted Gee-Gees player since fellow defensive back Delroy Clarke was taken 29th overall by Toronto in 2008.
Linebacker Khadim Mbaye was selected by his hometown Montreal Alouettes to start the seventh round, slotting in at number 52 overall. Mbaye, who studies Finance, had an excellent day at the CFL East Regional Combine in Montreal to qualify for the national combine. The 6-foot-1, 236 pound draft pick will join 2017 Draft pick Ty Cranston at the Alouettes camp this spring.
The pair joins a club of 97 CFL draft picks to have worn the Garnet and Grey.
Vieira, multi-faceted offensive talent for the Gee-Gees, will try to crack the Roughriders roster this spring. The team is currently only carrying one Canadian at running back in 33 year-old Jerome Messam, which may give Vieira the chance to find a spot on roster going forward.