The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football program celebrated its highest number of players selected in the CFL Draft since 2002 when three players were chosen in the 2020 CFL Draft.
Despite 16 Gee-Gees having been selected in the 18 years since the 2002 draft, no more than two players have been chosen each year, until three were taken on Thursday night.
The first Gee-Gees player off of the board was a surprise to some when defensive end Alain Pae was taken by the Edmonton Eskimos in the second round with the 13th overall selection.
Pae, a native of Prague, Czech Republic, played one season with the Gee-Gees in 2017. Originally slated to join the team for the 2016 season, Pae faced administrative hurdles delaying his arrival on the field to the following season. Prior to Ottawa, Pae had previous football experience playing for the Prague Lions in the Czech League of American Football.
The 6-3, 246 lb. defensive end was named to the OUA All-Rookie Team following an impressive 25.5 total tackles and six sacks in eight regular season games played. Pae, whose birthday is Aug. 23, narrowly missed the age cut-off to play for the 2018 season. Regardless, Pae earned a Master's degree in Human Kinetics and continued to train and work on obtaining his Canadian citizenship. Once his citizenship was established, Pae was eligible for the CFL Draft leading to his new home in Edmonton.
At the end of the sixth round, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers selected linebacker Kyle Rodger with the 55th overall pick.
Rodger, was an OUA Second Team All-Star and was named the team's 2019 Most Valuable Player following a campaign that featured 42 total tackles, one sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. The Gatineau, Que. product also showed well against the pass, posting three pass breakups and one interception.
Rodger joined the Gee-Gees in 2018 after spending two seasons with the Montréal Carabins. In his homecoming campaign, Rodger led the team in tackles with 49.5 total, along with two sacks.
In rapid succession, the third and final Ottawa player was selected when defensive end Réshaan Davis was picked by the Ottawa REDBLACKS with the 56th overall selection.
Entering the draft, it was a bit of an unknown where Davis would be selected, though some had the 2019 U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian coming off the board earlier, Davis found a familiar new team in the REDBLACKS.
The Oshawa, Ont. native had a career year leading to his All-Canadian and OUA First Team All-Star selection. The 6-4, 243 lb. edge rusher, racked up 32.5 total tackles, as well as finished second in OUA with 11.5 tackles for loss and fourth in sacks with seven, to go along with one forced fumble.
Davis followed up a breakout season in 2017 with a stellar season in 2018, establishing himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the OUA. In 2018, Davis finished tied for the seventh in the OUA sack race this season finishing with 4, while also tallying 16.5 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2 pass breakups in only 6 games played.
Davis will join former teammate Lewis Ward, along with fellow Gee-Gees alumni Brad Sinopoli, Brendan Gillanders, and Ettore Lattanzio, with whom he will play alongside on the Ottawa defensive line.