Former Granthshala College tight end Burt excited to get a chance to play football in Canada


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Former Granthshala College tight end Jake Burt scores a touchdown during his college career. Burt could be a top pick in Tuesday’s CFL Draft.

Canadian Press

The CFL is offering Jake Burt a new lease on his pro football life.

The former Granthshala College tight end is considered one of the top prospects in a wide-open 2021 CFL draft, which goes to Tuesday night. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Burt was a late addition to the draft because, when he grew up in Granthshala, he was born in Regina and lived with his family for about four years before relocating.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Burt said during a video conference on Monday. “I grew up in Granthshala, yes, but I was always a Canadian outsider and I always took pride in that.

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“I am from Saskatchewan, this is where my family is, so there is a lot of pride in Saskatchewan and the country in general. I know this is a great country, I bring this opportunity to myself and my whole family.

Burt appeared in 36 career games at Granthshala College, registering 23 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns. After being bypassed in the 2020 NFL draft, Burt signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots, spending the entire season on the practice roster before becoming this off-season.

Burt’s position is similar to linebacker Alex Singleton. A native Californian, who played as a collegium at Montana State, Singleton spent time with Seattle, New England and Minnesota in 2015 before qualifying for the 2016 CFL Draft because her mom was Canadian.

Singleton was ranked sixth above all Calgary and quickly blossomed into a CFL star. He was an All-Star twice and was named the league’s top defensive player in 2017 before helping the Stampeders win the 2018 Gray Cup.

Singleton joined the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 and re-signed with the club in March.

Apparently, Burt said that he is not eager to return to the NFL.

“Right now, the CFL is the one calling my name and honestly saying that I am extremely excited to get out there and play.” “I am 24 years old, I get the experience of a different country and go to play football there, play a style that I think fits my style well.”

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The trouble is, CFL teams no longer use dedicated tight ends.

Winnipeg general manager Kyle Walters said, “When the players evaluating your team are from the New England Patriots training camp, you get noticed.” “The interesting thing for Jake is that the position he played in the US doesn’t really exist in Canada, so this is the best way for CFL teams to get creative and use them aggressively.”

Burt feels that he can easily fit into the CFL offense.

“My speed is my hidden gem here,” he said. “I can run very well [4.48 second virtual 40-yard dash], I have worked tirelessly on my path… I got very good coaching and went against great competition [with Patriots] And only sharpened my tools.

“I would say that I can make a big impact as a receiver but I can come in and h-back [halfback] Same stuff. I hope we as a big receiver will put a new twist on the post that can run like all other receivers, but it is big enough to come in and have another thing to do. “

Burt said he could also be used on special plays, as he was a high-school quarterback.

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However, a big story on Tuesday will be how many top prospects the future views will be. Sixteen players in the final top-20 list of the Scouting Bureau have been selected / signed by NFL contracts, remaining in school, moved to new institutions or are in the process of doing so.

The Canadian Press on Monday discovered that the 6-foot-7-350 350-pound offensive lineman from New Mexico State’s Sage Dockster, Glencoe, Ont., Would return to school this fall. He was ranked No. 8 in the CFL Scouting Bureau.

That leaves Virginia receiver Terrell Jan (Vancouver, No. 15), Saskatchewan linebacker Nelson Locomb (Abbotsford, BC, No. 17), Calgary offensive lineman Logan Bandy (Calgary, No. 18) and Loire offensive lineman Bruce Bell ( Waterloo, Onts). ., No. 19) as top-20 players who could immediately report in CFL camps.

Another challenge facing CFL general managers is to evaluate the prospects of a Canadian university without the benefit of a 2020 sports film. Canadian schools did not play football last year due to the epidemic.

Again, neither the CFL. It originally planned to open the 2021 season in June, but pushed back until August 5, pending the novel Coronavirus.

“Like everyone else this year, you’re closing the film,” Walters said. “So the inability to see players on film in 2020 is a challenge.

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“We are going back in 2019 and there is a lot of interview process, ‘What was your bodyweight we are watching the film? What have you been doing for a year? How is the training going? What are you weighing now?” ? ‘This is a real, real challenge. “

It has been difficult to go for football without Bell, the University of Ontario player on the scouting bureau’s list.

“Everyone had struggled in the previous year and football definitely made them feel that,” he said. “We worked through them the only way that we knew how to train, and did what we could do and just tried to work our hardest,” he said.

“I believe playing any of the five positions on the O-line because we develop a lot in Laurier. I think I have good athletics in the box… I think I am skilled in my movements, I am a very technical O-line player. Wherever coaches think it is best for me to play and I will play there for that team. “

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