USask engineering student and offensive lineman Mattland Riley was chosen seventh overall by the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League draft. (Photo: GetMyPhoto.ca)

Big night for Huskies football in CFL draft

For the first time in the modern draft era and only second time since 1978, five members of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team heard their name called in the Canadian Football League draft in what was an historic night for the program on Thursday.

"I'm so proud of all of them, they've put in the work and I'm so happy because this is another step in the journey for them," said Huskies head coach Scott Flory. "To have five players drafted speaks to the coaches, the program and what we're doing. It was a great night for Huskie football."
First off the board was offensive lineman Mattland Riley, originally from Melfort the engineering student didn't have to wait long to hear his name called. Chosen seventh overall by the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders, the two-time All-Canadian that paved the way for one of the top running games in the nation last season, became the highest drafted Huskie since Ben Heenan went first overall in 2012.
"He's smart, tough, athletic and a leader. He checks a lot of boxes," said Flory. "There was interest from every team going into tonight and I'm not surprised that he got taken as highly as he did."
After leading the team with six sacks and being named a Canada West All-Star, defensive end Nicholas Dheilly was next up. Selected in the fifth round by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the product of Regina also had a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss.
"Winnipeg is getting a long, lean, athletic and versatile player," said Flory.
Despite playing in just five games over the last two years due to injury, receiver Sam Baker made more than enough of an impact in his time on the field to get selected in the sixth round by the Toronto Argonauts. In just three regular season games in 2019 the product of Esterhazy was everywhere, reeling in 15 catches for 236 yards and team-high four touchdowns.
"He finished the season as one of the best players in the conference, has a ton of potential and Toronto just got a hidden gem," said Flory.
Another integral part of a unit that allowed the least sacks and led the conference in rushing yards was next up. Nick Summach, a 6-8 offensive lineman from Saskatoon, was selected with the 57th pick in the seventh round of the draft by the Edmonton Eskimos.
"They just got a great player who has a ton of potential," said Flory. "He's big, athletic and a student of the game with a lot of potential to be a good pro."
Rounding out the night was Colton Klassen, a slotback who can also be an asset in the ground game that was taken in the eighth round. An integral part of the Huskies' 2018 Hardy Cup championship, the Holy Cross High School product was just as explosive in 2019, leading the team with 37 receptions and 456 receiving yards.

"Colton is the toughest, hardest working guy around," said Flory. "Montreal is getting one of the most versatile athletes around. He can do it all and will do it all."
Coming off back-to-back trips to the Hardy Cup, including wining the Canada West title for the first time since 2006 in 2018, this group of athletes will go down in the Huskie history book. Only once before have more than four Huskies been selected in the same draft and tonight marks the first time since the CFL Draft rules changes in 1985.
"They just have to go in, take advantage of the limited time they have to prove their value," said Flory. "They're all high character, hardworking, great athletes and will make the most of this experience."

Originally published by Huskie Athletics.

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