TORONTO — Fans of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders will want to keep an eye on the NCAA football semifinals.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was one of 10 players the Ticats revealed on their negotiation list on Wednesday and Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was unveiled as part of the Riders' list. The teams would have exclusive rights to those players should they decide to play football in Canada.
Top-ranked Alabama plays No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and No. 3 Notre Dame faces No. 2 Clemson in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. The winners of those games advance to the NCAA football championship on Jan. 7.
CFL teams can claim exclusive rights to negotiate with up to 45 players by placing them on their list. Players can be added, removed or traded from the list at any time.
Teams keep the majority of their lists private, but the CFL has recently begun revealing 10 players from every club twice a year. Partial lists were last revealed in February.
Saskatchewan also unveiled Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley as part of its negotiation list, and Hamilton named UCF pivot McKenzie Milton.
The BC Lions had their sights set on the quarterback position, laying claim to Jake Fromm (Georgia), Shea Patterson (Michigan), Ryan Finley (NC State), Lamar Jackson (NFL's Baltimore Ravens) among others.
Toronto named Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, Ohio State pivot Tate Martell and linebacker Shaquem Griffin (NFL's Seattle Seahawks).
Edmonton singled out Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Calgary claimed NCAA Washington quarterback Jake Browning, Montreal selected Braxton Miller, a quarterback with Ohio State who now plays wide receiver and is on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.
Tagovailoa and Grier were both finalists for the Heisman Trophy, U.S. college football's most prestigious individual award. Tagovailoa was runner-up to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who he will face in the Orange Bowl.
The CFL said it decided to start publishing portions of negotiation lists to engage fans, show a glimpse of the talent that teams are looking to acquire and continue momentum in the off-season news cycle.
The Canadian Press