Argos go with homeboy

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

The first time Mike Bradwell was a football recruit it was his peers calling. Yesterday it was the pros.

The big slotback will get his shot with his home-town team after the Argos used their first pick (13th overall) in the annual Canadian draft on the soon-to-be McMaster grad.

It has been quite a rise for a kid who only started playing football in his final year at Leaside High School, led the CIS in receiving in 2007 and is now weeks away from his first CFL training camp.

"I remember watching Pinball (Clemons) and (Doug) Flutie winning all those Grey Cups, but I was pretty committed to hockey growing up," said Bradwell, who had 958 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for the Marauders in '07.

"A bunch of my friends were on the football team and since I was tall and fast they said 'you've gotta come out, you'd be a good receiver.' "

With just one high school season to show his stuff, CIS teams weren't hot on his tail. But after settling on Mac, by his third-year he was a starter. It didn't take long for Bradwell, who was an OUA all-star last year, to buy into the work ethic and tradition at Mac, especially when he looked around the weight room.

"It was quite a thing as a freshman coming in and seeing one of the best players in the CIS who was getting NFL interest," Bradwell said of current Tiger-Cats running back, Jesse Lumsden. "McMaster has produced so many guys who have made the jump to the pros the last five years. It's a tradition I want to help keep up.

"There's no way you can fully prepare yourself for the speed and how big these guys are. I'm just expecting to go in and compete. It's going to take a lot of work and determination but I'm ready to get a little gritty, a little messy."

Though the Argos gave up their first-round pick in the deal that brought quarterback Kerry Joseph to town, director of player personnel Greg Mohns said they had Bradwell rated sixth on their draft board.

"It was a no-brainer for us, it was like getting a first-round pick in the second round," Mohns said of picking the 6-foot-2 188 pounder. "He has got size, speed and great hands. He's still young and has a lot of upside."

While the Argos had to wait until the second round to get started, Hamilton kicked things off by selecting Saskatchewan defensive back, Dylan Barker, first overall.

Besides the top pick, the Ticats may also have got the steal of the opening round when Sherbrooke receiver Sam Giguere still was available at eight. Before Indianapolis signed the speedy receiver to a free-agent deal following Sunday's NFL draft, Giguere had been projected to be a top three pick at worst.

"Dylan and Sam Giguere are the guys we had rated the top two players in the draft irregardless of position," Ticats coach Charlie Taaffe said. "We feel very fortunate to be able to draft both of those players."


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