Jade Etienne excited about the prospect of playing in the CFL


MALCOLM RADKE
Sports Writer

After an incredible breakout season, Huskies receiver Jade Etienne has recently been identified by the CFL as a top prospect for its upcoming 2011 draft.

The CFL Scouting Bureau report, released on Dec. 14, highlighted the top 15 Canadian-born football players eligible for this year’s entry draft. Rankings are based on individual player performance and interest from each of the eight CFL teams. Etienne was not included on the scouting bureau’s earlier scouting report released in September, but was able to crack the list at number 15 based on his exceptional performance throughout the Huskies football season.

“I would love to play in the CFL; it’d be so much fun,” said an excited Etienne.

The 6’3 wide receiver’s high rank serves as a testament to the astounding season he had this year. Etienne led the Canada West in receiving yards per game and was named a First Team All-Canadian.

Etienne is quick to credit the strength of the University of Saskatchewan football program and the team as a whole.

“Brian Towriss has been coaching here for nearly 30 years. He has put a lot of players on the map,” he said.

“I had to put in a lot of hours at the weight room to follow along with the work-out routines that the coaching staff gave me. I have a lot of support and teammates are happy to help when I’m lifting weights.”

Etienne said that he has been in conversations with numerous mentors and friends within the professional football world. Communication with the CFL and the media, on the other hand, are distractions that he would like to avoid.

“I’m trying to stay clear of what bloggers and the media have to say. I’ll admit I looked at one, and he said I looked like a Peter Pan character. The negative criticism has made me work even harder. ”

Although the news from the CFL is encouraging for Etienne, he knows that once drafted, it is still a long road to making it into the league.

“I think I’m in the same situation that [Huskies offensive lineman] Patrick Neufeld was in last year. I’ll get drafted and I’ll get to go to a camp but ultimately, I’m pretty sure they’ll tell me to come back to Saskatoon and take another year to gain experience, to get faster, all those things. And I’m prepared for that.”

Should a career in the football universe not work out, Etienne plans to apply to the college of education.

“My goal has always been to get into education. I would love to be a history teacher some day.”

Etienne is originally from Regina, where he played high school football. Initially recruited as a kicker, Etienne spent a year as a red shirt in 2007 before making the team as a receiver in 2008 and 2009. Etienne earned a starting job with the team in 2010 and quickly earned a reputation as a hard-working, sure-handed receiver with deep threat potential.

Posting 28 catches for six touchdowns over the course of the season, Etienne led the Canada West with 103 average yards per game in 2010.

image: Pete Yee

The Sheaf

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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