The CFL brings a fast paced three down game to the table and thankfully they start playing in June, when all we have to hold us over is baseball. With just nine teams it's also a small league packed full of historical rivalries which dwarf anything in the NFL.
There are four Buffalo Bulls currently on CFL rosters.
The most prominent is Drew Willy, who turned Winnipeg into Willypeg last season. Brought over as part of the new regime the New Jersey native and signal caller of the 2008 UB Championship team put up some awesome numbers. This season Bomber fans will want more consistency out of Willy but the team seems poised to be one of the better ones in the CFL.
Two receivers who caught Willy passes in Amherst are also on CFL rosters.
Ernest Jackson has been up north for a few seasons. He started last year as a role-playing receiver who BC Lions fans believed was not worth one of the squads "international player"* spots. Jackson showed great promise early on at BC but after an injury he was not a huge factor.
Then late last season Jackson ripped off several amazing games to end the season among the leagues best receivers with 813 years and three touchdowns. He was a free agent after the season and was quickly snatched up by the Ottawa REDBLACKS (I'm so sorry). Many considered Jackson to be the best available free agent receiver in the CFL and the move was a coup for Ottawa.
New to the CFL this season is Naaman Roosevelt. The man who broke hearts in Philadelphia with his 2008 Hail Mary catch has spent quite a few years bouncing around the NFL. Roosevelt did two with the Bills, one with the Browns and Lions. The only action he saw in the regular season was back in 2010 and 2011 with the Bills.
This offseason Roosevelt signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who gave Drew Willy his first shot in the CFL. Word in Riderland is that Roosevelt is looking like a very potent weapon in their Florida camps and may factor in a big way this season.
Last but not least is Natey Adjei, a native* Canadian speedster who was on the UB roster for two seasons but had no impact on the field. He was a high draft pick of the Toronto Argonauts two years ago and saw a little action in his rookie season.
This year Adjei, whose hometown is very close to Toronto, hopes to be a bigger factor.
I'm not going to bore you with the math but you have four UB players on different squads of a nine team league that plays 19 regular season and two preseason games. That means there will be a whole lot of CFL games involving a UB player (50) and a good number where each side will sport a Buffalo alumnus (15). A lot of these games end up on ESPN3 and they are fun to watch.
We will have more on each UB player as camps get along further and if there is interest we will throw up a weekly game thread.
* - For those of you who don't know the CFL has a strict limit on the number of "import" players. I believe the number is 19 players on a roster can be imports. An import is anyone did not physically reside in Canada for a total of 7 years prior to turning 15, or was a Canadian Citizen for 5 years before turning 18.
Here is this years full slate of CFL games and the UB players involved.
|Date||Away||Home||UB Away||UB Home||Note|
|9-Jun||Winnipeg||Toronto||Drew Willy||Natey Adjei||PS|
|27-Jun||Winnipeg||Saskatchewan||Drew Willy||Naaman Roosevelt|
|5-Jul||Toronto||Saskatchewan||Natey Adjei||Naaman Roosevelt|
|8-Aug||Saskatchewan||Toronto||Naaman Roosevelt||Natey Adjei|
|14-Aug||Toronto||Winnipeg||Natey Adjei||Drew Willy|
|23-Aug||Ottawa||Toronto||Ernest Jackson||Natey Adjei|
|30-Aug||Saskatchewan||Ottawa||Naaman Roosevelt||Ernest Jackson|
|6-Sep||Winnipeg||Saskatchewan||Drew Willy||Naaman Roosevelt|
|12-Sep||Saskatchewan||Winnipeg||Naaman Roosevelt||Drew Willy|
|19-Sep||Ottawa||Saskatchewan||Ernest Jackson||Naaman Roosevelt|
|26-Sep||Toronto||Ottawa||Natey Adjei||Ernest Jackson|
|6-Oct||Ottawa||Toronto||Ernest Jackson||Natey Adjei|
|16-Oct||Winnipeg||Ottawa||Drew Willy||Ernest Jackson|
|24-Oct||Ottawa||Winnipeg||Ernest Jackson||Drew Willy|
|6-Nov||Winnipeg||Toronto||Drew Willy||Natey Adjei|