Augustine signs with Esks as a free agent

The failure of any CFL team to select Johnny Augustine was one of the bigger surprises of this past Sunday’s draft.

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It seemed like a no-brainer that some team was going to sign him as a free agent …

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Now we hear from Justin Dunk at the 3-Down Nation blog that the Edmonton Eskimos are the lucky team …

University of Guelph running back Johnny Augustine has been added as a non-counter by the Edmonton Eskimos and will attend training camp with the club.

Augustine, who was ranked at No. 17 in the final version of the CFL Scouting Bureau, went unselected in last Sunday’s draft but was added by the Esks as one of two Canadian players each team can bring to training camp as long as they have not played a down in the CFL. They, like CFL Draft picks, do not count as part of the team’s 75-man roster.

The 5-foot-10, 210 pound ball carrier has played four seasons for the Gryphons playing in 27 games while registering 361 carries for 2,052 yards and 19 touchdowns. He had a strong performance at the CFL Combine in March in which he performed well in the pass protection and one-on-one receiving sessions.

Most CFL teams employ an American at running back and scouts sayAugustine doesn’t have much by way of special teams film – a key component for young Canadians trying to make a CFL roster – and that may have ultimately caused teams to shy away from selecting the Welland, Ontario native.

Eskimos logo

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Some insightful words on Augustine’s situation from Duane Forde in this CFL Draft Recap podcast. [26-33 minute mark]

One irony of the situation is that three of the linebackers that Augustine manhandled, even pancaked, at the CFL Combine [Nakas Onyeka, Jordan Herdman and Justin Herdman] were selected in the draft.

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