Blue Bombers QB Zach Collaros headlines 27-player CFL all-star team

Zach Collaros of the Grey Cup-bound Winnipeg Blue Bombers headlines the CFL’s 2022 all-star team.

The 27-player all-star roster was released Tuesday in advance of Sunday’s league championship in Regina.

Collaros had a league-leading 37 touchdown passes and was second with 4,183 passing yards this season. The reigning CFL outstanding player is a finalist for this year’s award.

He was one of six Winnipeg players honoured as the Blue Bombers try for a third straight Grey Cup victory. One of his favourite targets, receiver Dalton Schoen, was also named after posting 1,441 yards and 16 touchdowns in his rookie season.

WATCH | Collaros exits West final with injury:

Blue Bombers Zach Collaros leaves western final with injury

2 days ago

Duration 1:00

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback leaves fourth quarter of western final with injury after being sacked by Lions Sione Teuhema.

The Calgary Stampeders, who lost to B.C. in the West Division semifinal, had a league-high eight players named to the team, including league-leading rusher Ka’Deem Carey (1,088 yards) and kicker Rene Paredes.

Paredes, from Pierrefonds, Que., was named a CFL all-star for the fifth time after hitting 90 per cent of his field goals (54-for-60).

The Toronto Argonauts, who will meet Winnipeg in the Grey Cup, had three representatives, tied with Hamilton for most in the East Division.

Six Canadians were named to the team: Paredes, Toronto receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Calgary centre Sean McEwen, Hamilton guard Brandon Revenberg, Winnipeg guard Patrick Neufeld and Calgary linebacker Cameron Judge.

CFL all-stars

OFFENCE

  • Quarterback Zach Collaros (Winnipeg)
  • Running back Ka’Deem Carey (Calgary)
  • Receiver Dalton Schoen (Winnipeg)
  • Receiver Eugene Lewis (Montreal)
  • Receiver Dominique Rhymes (B.C.)
  • Receiver Tim White (Hamilton)
  • Receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Toronto)
  • Centre Sean McEwen (Calgary)
  • Guard Brandon Revenberg (Hamilton)
  • Guard Patrick Neufeld (Winnipeg)
  • Tackle Stanley Bryant (Winnipeg)
  • Tackle Derek Dennis (Calgary)

DEFENCE

  • Defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin IV (Ottawa)
  • Defensive end Shawn Lemon (Calgary)
  • Defensive tackle Mike Rose (Calgary)
  • Defensive tackle Jake Ceresna (Edmonton)
  • Linebacker Wynton McManis (Toronto)
  • Linebacker Cameron Judge (Calgary)
  • Linebacker Kameron Kelly (Hamilton)
  • Cornerback Jamal Peters (Toronto)
  • Cornerback Garry Peters (B.C.)
  • Defensive back Marcus Sayles (B.C.)
  • Defensive back Deatrick Nichols (Winnipeg)
  • Safety Loucheiz Purifoy (B.C.)

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker Rene Paredes (Calgary)
  • Punter Cody Grace (Calgary)
  • Return specialist Janarion Grant (Winnipeg)

Canadian QB Rourke set for NFL workouts

Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke believes he has what it takes to play in the NFL. Now he’s heading south to see if there’s a team that agrees.

Days after his season with the B.C. Lions came to a disappointing end, the 24-year-old Victoria native confirmed he’s going to work out with a number of NFL teams.

“I never had a true opportunity at the NFL level, not as a quarterback. And that’s always been something that I’ve wanted to at least try for a very long time,” Rourke told reporters Tuesday.

“I’m fortunate to have an opportunity and see where that goes and understand that I have a heck of an opportunity still here with the Lions. And so, to me, it’s a win-win, really.”

B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke passes during the first half of a pre-season CFL football game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Vancouver, B.C. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Rourke stunned many in his first season as starter this year, throwing for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 regular-season games. He proved to be a dual threat, too, adding 304 rushing yards with seven TDs.

The six-foot-two, 209-pound quarterback’s campaign was curtailed in mid-August by a foot injury that required surgery and forced him to miss eight games, but he returned for the final game of the regular season.

The Lions (12-6) made the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and downed the Calgary Stampeders 30-16 in the west semifinal before falling 28-20 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the west final on Sunday.

The team was a special group that fell short of its goal, Rourke said.

WATCH | Canadian QB Nathan Rourke suffers foot injury:

B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke leaves game with injury

3 months ago

Duration 1:16

B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke needs to be helped off the field after suffering a sack from Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman Pete Robertson.

“It’s one of those ones that you would have loved to have seen throughout the end and be able to finish on a better note,” he said. “So certainly a bitter taste in my mouth from that, but there were a lot of great moments that we can look back on and smile and enjoy.”

As attention grew around the Ohio University product this season, Rourke did his best to tune out the noise.

“I told my agent that I didn’t want to hear about any NFL things during the season,” he said. “I wanted to be able to focus and make sure all my chips were on the table and I was doing everything that I could to give everything I had to the Lions until the season was over. That’s the way I treated it.”

Looking for right opportunity

As a result, he doesn’t have any details on how many or which NFL teams he’ll be doing workouts with. All Rourke knows is that he’s looking for the right opportunity.

“I think playing is important. And being able to make an impact and trying to win is important,” he said. “I think I have a great opportunity to do that [with the Lions]. So it’s going to have to be a good situation [in the NFL]. I don’t really know what exactly it looks like in terms of the specifics, but I know that we’ll know when we come across it.”

Selfishly, head coach Rick Campbell wants to see his starting QB return next season. But he also serves as B.C.’s co-general manager and wants to see the young man he picked 15th overall in the 2020 CFL draft pursue his dreams, too.

“I’m personally rooting for Nathan, whatever happens to him,” Campbell said. “If we start becoming an organization where we’re losing people to other teams, NFL or CFL teams, that means good stuff’s happening.”

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