Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Prospect can't prove he's Canuck

Blue abandon plans to pick Poblah in secondary draft

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So much for Plan 1, now it's on to Plan 1A for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their strategy for Sunday's CFL Canadian Draft.

The Bombers received word from CFL HQ on Thursday that Central Michigan receiver Kito Poblah has not been able to provide the necessary documentation to verify his Canadian citizenship and, as a result, the highly rated prospect will not be available in a supplemental draft.

"As of right now -- and we don't see it being resolved any time soon -- we don't think he's going to qualify as a non-import and so we'll make whatever modifications necessary for Sunday," said Bomber assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson.

"Obviously everybody's been hounding the league for an answer because the kid's a definite prospect. But if he was a primary focus for a team the question now is, how are you going to fill that particular need?

"At some point you have to decide this is the situation and move forward and we've come to that point."

Poblah, a gifted prospect TSN draft guru Duane Forde referred to as "elite," was a player the Bombers hoped to land in the supplemental draft after selecting in the regular draft. Winnipeg holds the first- and fourth-overall selections on Sunday in addition to picking 17th, 24th, 32nd and 41st and held the waiver priority in the supplemental draft, held annually for players who didn't declare in time or have eligibility questions that needed to be resolved.

Born in Montreal but apparently home schooled before moving to the U.S., Poblah has been unable to provide documentation to prove he was "physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of five years prior to the age of 18 years," as per the collective bargaining agreement.

A source close to Poblah said he was still scrambling to find the documentation to prove his Canadian citizenship. Without that, he would have to be declared an import.

The silver lining for the Bombers if they intend to choose a pass catcher in the first round is the 2011 draft is fairly deep in receiving prospects, including University of Calgary teammates Anthony Parker and Nathan Coehoorn, ranked second and seventh, respectively, by the CFL Scouting Bureau along with Marci Iannuzzi of Harvard (ranked ninth).

Saskatchewan's Jade Etienne, a CIS all-star, is also an intriguing prospect as is second-team CIS all-star Liam Mahoney of Concordia.

"There was a potential to, if you wanted to, get the first and fourth (overall picks) and have the best shot at taking that kid in the supplemental... you could have picked up three blue-chip players," said Hodgkinson. "But I think there's enough depth at the receiver spot that whoever we might be interested in, depending on how things go, that you're going to get one of the guys you want."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

PROSPECT WATCH

Free Press football writer Ed Tait will provide a brief synopsis of some of the top Canadian players daily leading up to Sunday's CFL draft. Today, we focus on Nathan Coehoorn:

NATHAN COEHOORN

Position: receiver

School: University of Calgary

Ht: 6-2; Wt: 220

Born: Sept. 17, 1989, Medicine Hat, Alta.

CFL Scouting Bureau ranking: 7th.

Credentials: Led Calgary with 28 catches for 416 yards and was the Canada West leader in punt-return yards last year... A Canada West All-Star for three consecutive seasons... Was a First-Team CIS All Star in 2009... Second-Team CIS All Star in 2008.

E-Camp test results from March: Bench: 15 (fifth among receivers); 40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds (fifth among receivers); vertical jump: 35.5 inches (T-fourth among receivers); broad jump: 10 feet, one inch (4th among receivers); shuttle: 4.16 seconds (third among receivers); 3-cone drill: 7.03 seconds (T-fourth among receivers).

Video profile courtesy CFL.ca:

http://www.cfl.ca/video/index?sub_channel=369#show_video

Why he'd be a good fit for the Bombers: As we said in Thursday's profile of Coehoorn's teammate Anthony Parker, the Bombers have been searching for star Canadian receiver since the days of Gerald Wilcox. Coehoorn would give the Bombers a big, physical target at slotback. There is receiving depth in this draft, but with the club settling on LB Henoc Muamba for first overall, they may want to grab Coehoorn at four. That said, it's very possible he could move up significantly in the first round as teams selecting lower -- like the Stampeders -- may peddle picks to move up and select him.

-- Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 6, 2011 C4

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