O Canada

By Adam Caparell - May 02, 2007

Almost every college football player's dream is to one day hear their name called in the NFL Draft. But if you're Canadian and didn't get the call last weekend, then Wednesday was your day.

Many Canadian collegians had their dreams come true Wednesday as the CFL held its annual draft where the eight teams of the league got a chance to draft any available Canadian-born player who has played at least one season of college football in the U.S. or Canada.

Considered by many to be the potential top pick, former Toledo DL J.P. Bekasiak fell to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the No. 4 selection. But don't start calling him Brady Quinn.

"I was a little bit nervous," the 6-foot-6, 300 pound Bekasiak said. "There was some speculation about who was going to pick me. All the teams that were in the first round expressed interest."

He didn't have to wait too long. With only three minutes between picks, it took less than 12 minutes for Bekasiak to learn he was going to be a Ticat.

"It's any Canadian kids dream to be a top pick like that," Bekasiak said. "To have the opportunity to play on the big stage in Canada and the CFL is very exciting."

Hamilton wasn't sure about using their first pick on Bekasiak and chose Regina WR Chris Bauman instead, where it seems like the 6-foot-4, 212 pound Manitoba native distanced himself from other prospects at the CFL Combine in Toronto (where they put on the helmets and pads unlike the NFL's version).

Bekasiak isn't going to give up his NFL dreams just yet. If he had his choice, he'd rather play in the states. He has tryouts this week with the Vikings and the Jets. If those two opportunities don't pan out, he'll turn his attention to the CFL with training camps set to start in roughly three weeks.

"I'm thinking I can really do something for (Hamilton)," Bekasiak said, "but the NFL is the main stage and I'm sure anyone who would have the chance would go the NFL road."

And if you can't cut it there, the CFL's waiting with open arms.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 03:30 PM on May 02, 2007

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