Clan players taken in 2017 CFL draft
By Steve Frost
SFU Clan running back Ante Milanovic-Litre was selected 28th overall and is among four student athletes from the Simon Fraser University football program were drafted in the 2017 Canadian Football League Draft.
The Calgary Stampeders chose Milanovic-Litre in the fourth round (28th overall) and then took Clan offensive lineman Felix Gacusana Jr. in the fifth round, 43rd overall. Outside linebacker Justin Herdman was selected in the seventh round, 54th overall, by Toronto, and his brother, middle linebacker Jordan Herdman, went to the BC Lions in the seventh round, 60th overall.
Jordan Herdman attended a three-day rookie mini-camp with the Kansas City Chiefs last week in an attempt to secure an NFL contract.
SFU, the only school in Canada that competes in the NCAA, has had 97 players drafted into the CFL since 1985, second behind only the University of Calgary with 98 during that time.
Milanovic-Litre was the second running back chosen in the draft behind fullback Anthony Gosselin of Sherbrooke, who went in the second round, 18th overall.
A five-foot-11-inch, 233-pound running back from Vancouver, Milanovic-Litre had 89 carries for 105 yards and made 20 receptions for 142 yards during an injury-plagued senior season. The Notre Dame high school alumnus was Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Conference Second Team in 2015 after moving from fullback to tailback midway through the season and rushing for more than 100 yards twice. Milanovic-Litre finished third in receiving in the conference in 2015, with 38 receptions for 272 yards.
A six-foot-one, 318-lb. offensive lineman, Gacusana Jr. played four seasons with the Clan and was named to the GNAC All-Conference Second Team in 2016. He attended St. Thomas More high school in Burnaby, B.C.
Justin Herdman was a unanimous selection to the GNAC All-Conference Second Team in 2016 after finishing second on the team with 73 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and one interception. The six-foot one-inch, 235-pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, finished his collegiate career with 220 tackles and was a three-time GNAC Football All-Academic Team selection.
Jordan Herdman was the two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the first SFU player to participate in the Reese's Senior Bowl. He was an AFCA Division II All-America Second Team and nominated for the Cliff Harris award as the best defensive player in NCAA Division II Football.
The six-foot-two-inch, 235-pound linebacker re-wrote the Great Northwest Athletic Conference record book during his career, claiming the all-time marks in tackles (428) and assisted tackles (223). Herdman also holds the GNAC single game records with 26 tackles and 17 solo stops.