Fantuz, Mitchell Top 10 in CFL draft


By Communications Staff
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Western Mustangs' receiver Andy Fantuz was selected third overall in the 2006 CFL draft buy the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Teammate and defensive back Leron Mitchell, below, was taken 10th overall by the Toronto Argonauts.
Western Mustangs' record-setting receiver Andy Fantuz has gone third overall in the 2006 Canadian Football League draft, heading to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, while teammate Leron Mitchell, a fourth-year defensive back, was nabbed with the second pick of the second round (10th overall) by the Toronto Argonauts.

The 2005 Hec Crighton winner as the top university football player in Canada, Fantuz holds the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) record for virtually every major category at his position. The Chatham native is the all-time CIS and OUA leader for receiving yards (4,123 yards), receptions (189) and touchdown receptions (41).

The four time CIS all-Canadian and four-time OUA all-star was named the 2006 winner of the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy as Western's top male athlete.

"I am excited to get drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I feel very lucky today. It presents a great opportunity," says Fantuz. "I am looking forward to showing people what I can do at the next level."

Fantuz, 22, recovered from a major injury suffered in the spring of 2005 to lead Western to its first appearance in the OUA Championship since 1998. He required a number of surgeries after injuring his left thigh while playing in the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in London.

Mitchell, 24, attended The University of Texas on a track and field scholarship prior to joining the Mustangs in 2003. In 2004, he represented Western along with Fantuz at the East West Bowl - a Canadian university showcase for the CFL. The Toronto native recorded 20 tackles and three interceptions in 2005 to improve his career totals to 44 tackles and four interceptions in his three-year career.

"This is amazing. It's the one place I really wanted to go. I heard that they were interested me. I can't wait to play," says Mitchell.

The Edmonton Eskimos used their first pick overall to select Washington State defensive lineman Adam Braidwood. With their first of three picks in the first round, the B.C. Lions took linebacker Jason Pottinger from McMaster second overall.

The Western football team has produced 204 players who have been selected in the CFL Canadian Draft dating back to 1953, most recently centre Jeff Keeping in 2005 by the Toronto Argonauts and slotback Christian Heffernan in 2004 by the Ottawa Renegades.

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