The road less travelled

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

It's tough enough for a drafted player to end up on a CFL team's 42-man roster for a regular-season game.

So how do the undrafted Canadians do it?

Well, probably through hard work, relentless determination and a few lucky breaks.

There are more than a few Canadians currently playing in the CFL who were not plucked in the annual spring draft. A good percentage of them are special-teamers -- long-snappers, kickers and cover men -- but there are some who start on offence and defence.

Here are some notable undrafted Canadians who could end up playing key roles for their teams down the stretch:

- S Ian Logan, Winnipeg Blue Bombers -- Signed in January 2005 out of Wilfrid Laurier, Logan is currently second in the league with four interceptions.

- WR Rob Bagg, Saskatchewan Roughriders -- The ex-Queen's star is 16th in league receiving with 584 yards on 40 catches. The Riders signed the 24-year-old, who also has three touchdown grabs so far this season, in May 2007.

- K Sandro DeAngelis, Calgary Stampeders -- The 28-year-old is the CFL's most reliable kicker and was named the league's top special teams player in 2006. The Stamps inked the former Nebraska kicker in March 2005.

- K Paul McCallum, B.C. Lions -- Despite losing his job earlier this year and gaining it back, the former Surrey (B.C.) junior player has been kicking in the league since 1993, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats signed him as a free agent.

- FB Jeff Johnson, Toronto Argonauts -- The Ticats signed the former York Yeoman in June 200, and the 32-year-old has turned that contract into a solid, 10-year career.

- OL Kyle Koch, Edmonton Eskimos -- A rarity in that he's a starting offensive lineman who wasn't drafted. The Bombers signed him out of McMaster in May 2007.

OPENING DRIVE

It's Week 16, and all four teams in the West Division could still finish anywhere from first to fourth. Calgary and B.C. currently hold two tie-breakers over division rivals, while Saskatchewan and Edmonton both have the advantage over one team ... Saskatchewan, Calgary and B.C. all have two home games and two road contests remaining. Edmonton has three on the road left, but they have two games against hapless Toronto -- one at home and one at Rogers Centre ... The Roughriders will have to make do without their best receiver, Weston Dressler, who suffered a broken leg in Saturday's win over the Argos... The Blue Bombers had a great game in Hamilton Monday, beating the Ticats 38-28, but getting there wasn't a cake walk. Their bus failed to show up at Pearson International Airport, so the players and coaches divided into groups and took cabs to Hamilton. When they got to Steeltown, some of their hotel rooms weren't ready.

ENDZONE TOSS

Eskimos SB Fred Stamps leads the CFL with five 100-yard receiving games this season ... Down the road in Calgary, Stampeders tailback Joffrey Reynolds has a league-best six 100-yard rushing games ... Talk about death by a thousands cuts. The Montreal Alouettes, who lead the league with 445 points, are sixth in the league when it comes to big plays (20-plus-yard rushes and 30-plus-yard passes). Only Toronto and Hamilton have fewer ... The Roughriders are worried about the health of punter Jamie Boreham (neck) and signed Ryan Elaschuk as an insurance policy.

EXTRA POINTS

The Lions likely improved over the weekend when they signed draft pick Jamall Lee. The running back had been trying to crack an NFL roster ... Arland Bruce III isn't afraid to speak his mind. Following Monday's loss to Winnipeg, the slotback weighed in on the team's quarterbacking situation to the Hamilton Spectator: "Let's call a spade a spade: Glenn is better than Porter." OK then.

KIRK.PENTON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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