TORONTO — After a rocky and surprising start to the 2022 CFL Draft, the top three picks: Tyrell Richards, Zack Pelehos and Nathan Cherry, joined reporters from across the country for a conference call.
Syracuse linebacker Richards saw the Montreal Alouettes trade up front to take it. Pelehos, an offensive lineman from the University of Ottawa, and Cherry, a defensive lineman from the University of Saskatchewan, admitted that they were surprised to hear their names called as soon as they have done, but are grateful for the opportunities available to them.
With rookie camps opening next week, Tuesday was a good opportunity for them to savor the moment of being drafted before diving into the next chapter of their careers.
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Striking quotes from the top three CFL draft picks
“Honestly (I was) surprised. I was eating chicken wings, so I had to clean up quickly and make everyone calm down and take the phone call. Then this n “It was all excitement from there. Honestly, I’m still buzzing from the whole experience and I’m just excited and ready to go play some football.
– The third overall pick, Nathan Cherry, on his reaction to being taken early in the draft by the BC Lions.
“The work you put in the offseason. No one is there to see it. No one is there to watch it. But it’s everyday life, working with the weights, with running, with sprinting, the movie out of season. It’s the times no one is watching that make you a good player. I think the (last) two years, missing (the season) with COVID in 2020, just training and developing to be a better football player, that had the biggest impact for me.
– Cherry on how he made the leap as a player in 2021 with the Saskatchewan Huskies.
“I most definitely think (there is pressure). I didn’t expect the pressure, but I feel like I know how to handle myself in these situations and keep a cool head and not worry about what anyone has to say. I just make sure I’m as ready as possible so I can go out there and perform well. That’s all we can say about it.”
– Tyrell Richards on the pressure that comes with being the No. 1 pick.
“The preference right now is definitely linebacker, just because as a linebacker you have to understand what’s going on everywhere. It will help me to be able to play in multiple positions within the defense, so linebacker right now I just want to come in and prove myself through camp and try to show the type of player that I can be on the pitch by studying film, by studying my playbook. dominant force.
— Richards on where he would like to play in defense of the Alouettes this year.
“Honestly, before the Combine it was a bit difficult. But after that day I started to feel like a football player again. All my preparation has increased and now that we are heading to camp, they have the best on me.
– Richards to become active as a football player after missing the 2021 season at Syracuse.
“I am very happy to be able to stay in the city of Ottawa to start my professional career. I can’t wait to get started with the team to camp and see where it takes me. I know I will bring the physical every day. I know they can’t wait to get there and I can’t wait to get started.
— Zack Pelehos moves from the University of Ottawa to the Ottawa REDBLACKS in second place.
“I met the team recently and the interview went really well. Me and the team just seemed to click every time we talked. I didn’t expect to be second overall, it was honestly a bit of a shock to me. I didn’t get any phone calls or anything like that before, it was kinda right after, or during the selection. It came as a shock. I remember that the whole crowd at my draft night went crazy about it.
– Pelehos moves up to second overall in the repechage.
“Talking to them, I know I’m going to go inside, to the inside offensive line. So more of the child care center type. From there, I think coming into camp, I’m going to work as hard as I can, work to take over one of those spots, potentially get (on the dressed roster) as the season progresses. Every day is going to be a chore for me.
— Pelehos on his crisis with the REDBLACKS.
“It’s true, now that I’m on top of the world, I can’t lie. It’s honestly probably the biggest achievement so far. The work really begins now.
– Richards on his emotions Tuesday night, being the first choice.