Canadian defensive back declares for NFL draft after run at Minnesota

·4 min read

Canadian defensive back Benjamin St-Juste's collegiate career at Minnesota is over.

The Gophers' starting cornerback decided earlier this week to skip his remaining college eligibility and declare for the 2021 NFL draft. St-Juste, a six-foot-three, 200-pound Montreal native, began his NCAA career at Michigan before transferring to Minnesota in 2019.

He has registered 55 total tackles (1.5 for loss) in 17 career games with the Gophers.

“Thank you Minnesota! I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent The University of Minnesota. Thank you to Coach (P.J.) Fleck for giving me a chance to reach my dreams on and off the field,” St-Juste tweeted. “Thank you to every single coach and staff member that pushed me to become a better player and man. Huge thank you to the state of Minnesota and the Gopher fans for the incredible memories!”

St-Juste had four tackles in Minnesota's season-ending 20-17 road loss to Wisconsin last weekend. He'll also be eligible for the 2021 CFL draft.

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TERRELL DECLARES: Vancouver's Terrell Jana, a senior receiver at Virginia, has declared for the 2021 NFL and CFL drafts.

The six-foot, 200-pound Jana made the announcement Wednesday via Twitter, thanking his family, Virginia's coaching staff, his teammates and fans.

"My parents and my brother were instrumental in helping mold me into the person I am and providing me with the best possible foundation to have success down in Virginia," Jana tweeted.

Jana had 36 catches for 423 yards and a TD this season. He leaves Virginia having registered 123 career catches for 1,481 yards with five TDs. In October, Jana was ranked third — and first among receivers — on the CFL scouting bureau's top-20 prospects list for the 2021 draft.

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DOBSON TRANSFERRING: Canadian offensive lineman Liam Dobson has entered the NCAA's transfer portal.

The six-foot-three, 340-pound Ottawa native started the last two seasons at the University of Maine and was a 2019 all-Colonial Athletic Association first-team selection. Dobson started 27-of-32 career games for the Black Bears.

Maine didn't play football in 2020, but is slated to stage a six-game CAA spring campaign starting in March 2021.

In October, Dobson was ranked No. 5 in the CFL scouting bureau's list of the top-20 prospects for the league's 2021 draft.

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POINT AFTER: Georgia Southern beat Louisiana Tech 38-3 in the New Orleans Bowl on Wednesday. Gabe Siemieniec of Caledon, Ont., a six-foot-one, 191-pound graduate student, handled kickoff duties for Louisiana Tech . . . Houston faces Hawaii in the New Mexico Bowl on Thursday. Olivier Charles-Pierre, a six-foot two, 370-pound senior defensive lineman from Laval, Que., has eight tackles (two solo, 0.5 for a loss) this season for Houston. Nick Mardner, a six-foot-six, 190-pound redshirt sophomore receiver from Mississauga, Ont., has recorded 11 catches for 188 yards and a TD at Hawaii . . . Isaiah Bagnah, a six-foot-four, 244-pound redshirt freshman defensive lineman from Lethbridge, Alta., had five tackles (1.5 for a loss) and a sack in Boise State's 34-20 loss to San Jose State last week. In his last two games of the season, Bagnah had nine tackles (three solo, 3.5 for a loss) with three sacks. On the year, Bagnah registered 12 tackles (five solo, 4.5 for a loss) with three sacks . . . A season that began miserably ended on a winning note for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Jesse Luketa, a six-foot-three, 242-pound junior linebacker from Ottawa, had seven tackles (three solo) in Penn State's 56-21 win over Illinois last weekend. After opening the year with five straight losses, the Nittany Lions finished with four consecutive wins. Luketa, who started six of the seven games he appeared in this year, recorded 59 tackles (31 solo. 2.5 for a loss) with a fumble recovery. Jonathan Sutherland, a five-foot-11, 202-pound redshirt junior safety from Ottawa, had a tackle against Illinois and accumulated 14 tackles (six solo, two for a loss) with half a sack. And Theo Johnson, a six-foot-six, 251-pound freshman tight end from Windsor, Ont., recorded two receptions for 42 yards. The younger brother of Buffalo Bulls receiver Dominic Johnson had four catches for 56 yards in his first season at PSU.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 24, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press