Football

Philip Blake tops CFL's 2011 prospect list

Philip Blake will slide down the offensive line at Baylor University this season while attempting to maintain his standing as the CFL's projected top prospect for the 2011 draft.

Offensive lineman will shift from right tackle to centre this season at Baylor

Philip Blake will slide down the offensive line at Baylor University this season while attempting to maintain his standing as the Canadian Football League's projected top prospect for the 2011 draft.

The six-foot-three, 315-pound Toronto native is entering his junior season at the Texas university and will take over from centre J.D. Walton, whom the National Football League's Denver Broncos drafted in the third round (80th overall) in the spring.

"Those are a big set of shoes he's got to fill," senior offensive tackle Danny Watkins told The Baylor Lariat of Blake. "But Philip and [fellow centre] Big Rob [Robert T. Griffin] both are solid athletes. [I'm] not worried about it all."

Last season, the 24-year-old Blake started at right tackle and posted 76 pass knockdowns in 12 games for the Bears. He moved to centre during spring drills.

Blake played his freshman season at Tyler (Texas) Junior College before transferring to Baylor, a private Baptist university in Waco.

The general studies major is one of three offensive linemen among the top five prospects. University of Connecticut centre Moe Petrus of St. Laurent, Que., and Rice University tackle Scott Mitchell of Ottawa are the others.

"There is a lot of excitement among our teams about the prospects available to them in 2011," Kevin McDonald, the CFL's director of football operations and development, said in a statement.

The University of Calgary Dinos, who fell 33-31 to the Queen's Gaels in the 2009 Vanier Cup, boast three players in the top 15: slotback Anthony Parker, wide receiver Nathan Coehoorn and running back Matt Walter.

Gaels offensive lineman Matthew O'Donnell might be the most physically imposing prospect, listed at six feet 10 inches and 329 pounds.

The CFL's evaluation camp for Canadian prospects is scheduled for March 4-6 in Toronto.

CFL's top 15 prospects

 Rank  Player  Position  School  Height  Weight (lbs)
 1  Philip Blake OL  Baylor  6-3  315
 2  Scott Mitchell OL  Rice  6-4  295
 3  Anthony Parker SB  Calgary  6-2  215
 4  Moe Petrus OL   Connecticut  6-2  292
 5  Renaldo Sagesse DL  Michigan  6-4  289
 6  Matthew O'Donnell OL   Queen's  6-10  329
 7  Nathan Coehoorn WR  Calgary  6-2  220
 8  Vaughn Martin DL  Western  6-4  330
 9  Tyler Holmes OL   Tulsa  6-4  305
10  Hugh O'Neill P/K  Alberta  6-2  185
11   Henoc Muamba LB  St. Francis Xavier  6-0  230
12  Gregory Alexandre DL  Montreal  6-2  285
13  Michael Carter DB   Maryland  5-10  175
14  Matt Walter RB  Calgary  5-10  210
15  Pascal Baillargeon OL   Laval  6-5  300