Delroy Clarke has taken a long route to get a shot with his home-town CFL team.
A couple hours after the Toronto Argonauts took him in the fourth round (29th overall) of yesterday's Canadian college draft, the Ottawa Gee-Gees defensive back related how he needed some prodding to start football at age 19 five years ago.
"Being a soccer player growing up, I only went into football because some of my friends thought it would be a good idea for me to try it," Clarke, 24, said. "I didn't think in a million years I'd ever get drafted and get a chance to play pro ball. It's a shocker.
"I'm fairly excited," added Clarke, who was the lone Gee-Gee selected yesterday. "It's my home-town team. I get to go back home so that's a bonus."
Clarke, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Toronto as a teen, noted that the Gee-Gees defensive co-ordinators over the past few seasons, Phil Roberts and Danny Laramee (now at Saint Mary's), have given him a good grounding for the CFL.
Gee-Gees coach Denis Piche believes the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Clarke has excellent CFL potential.
"He's a tall DB, which is what they're looking for," Piche said. "After a couple of (CFL) practices he won't look out of place."
The Argonauts also took Ottawa native Jean-Nicolas Carriere, a McGill linebacker, in the third round (21st overall). Queen's running back Mike Giffin, who began his university career with the Gee-Gees, was Hamilton's third-rounder (18th overall).
SACOBIE NOT TAKEN
Regina's Teale Orban was the only quarterback taken. Record-setting Gee-Gees passer Josh Sacobie is planning to play a fifth season this fall.
"I do think the fact we were the first quarterbacks invited to work out in about four years is progress," said Sacobie. "Teale's going to have his shot and I'm going to be checking my messages for a call (from a CFL team) ... either way, I know I'm playing football in the fall."
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected Saskatchewan Huskies safety Dylan Barker first overall. The Ticats entertained several offers for the No. 1 selection, but opted to keep the pick and use it to take the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Barker.
The Edmonton Eskimos then dealt the No. 2 selection and the No. 16 overall pick to Calgary for offensive lineman John Comiskey, rookie receiver Kevin Challenger and the 11th and 19th picks. The Stampeders used the No. 2 pick to select Dimitri Tsoumpas, a 6-foot-4 315-pound offensive guard who started 25 straight games at Weber State. Hamilton concluded the first round at No. 8 -- the CFL gave the Ticats the Als' forfeited selection -- by taking Sherbrooke receiver Sam Giguere. But Hamilton will have to wait for the muscular receiver as he signed an NFL deal with the Indianapolis Colts this week.