Former QB joins Ottawa CFL team's staff

Former CFL quarterback and assistant coach Rick Worman has joined the unnamed Ottawa CFL franchise...

Former CFL quarterback and assistant coach Rick Worman has joined the unnamed Ottawa CFL franchise as a scout. (QMI Agency file photo)

TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:13 AM ET

OTTAWA - Ottawa's CFL team doesn't have a name.

It doesn't have a stadium.

It doesn't even have a certain starting date.

But it already has a football employee -- a scout.

Former CFL QB, coach and scout Rick Worman has been working for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group since mid-March, scouting the U.S. college football scene.

And while that initially may sound odd, the Ottawa CFL team will be allowed to participate in next year's Canadian college draft -- but will only be able to select fourth-year Canadians who have been redshirted and who have used up only three years of eligibility. Ottawa will pick ninth in the college draft, then last in each round. Some CFL teams shy away from these players until the later rounds because usually the kids stay in school for another year.

Ottawa will be able to select up to six from a pool of 17 eligible kids, including two Ottawa-area players -- offensive lineman Brander Craighead (Texas El-Paso) and defensive end Connor Williams (Utah State).

"Who's going to be available with the ninth or 18th pick in the draft? I don't know. But of the 17, four or five have the potential to be starters," said Worman, 48, who quarterbacked in Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton and Saskatchewan and also spent time in a variety of coaching positions.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind adventure for Worman -- lots of time in airports and in rental cars.

"I've been from Virginia to Florida to Alabama to North Dakota to Indiana to Michigan to Utah to Oregon. I was in 10 states in 10 days. It was crazy. It seems like I've been everywhere," said Worman, who spent last season as running backs coach in Hamilton.

With a mutual CFL connection, Worman and OSEG's Jeff Hunt started talking in January.

"We couldn't let this opportunity pass," said Hunt. "We've always believed time is an asset and this is a start."

"I wasn't going back to Hamilton with the coaching change, so this really intrigued me," said Worman. "I know a lot about the league, I was part of it for 15 years. The CFL is ingrained in my blood.

"Jeff's motivation was to hit the ground running. It wasn't like I get my jollies out of travel, but they wanted me to put together a plan of attack. This is really intriguing, starting this thing from ground zero. I was part of an expansion team in Fresno (Arena Football League), and we started with Ricky Ray as our quarterback."

It was important for the Ottawa CFL group to get some eyes watching the U.S. college spring camps, with about a six-week window to do it.

"Some of these guys are good players at big schools in a backup capacity," said Worman. "So it's hard to evaluate a guy if you don't have video. In spring camp, every guy gets time on the field. It's a big deal. There were 40,000 people at the game in Oregon. This gives me a chance to watch them and list them one to 17."

tim.baines@sunmedia.ca


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