Player (6-5, 298) was an All-Southland Conference honorable mention selection last fall as a senior, when he was the only NSU offensive lineman to grade 80 percent or better in all seven Southland games. He helped the Demons win three of their last four, including a victory over nationally ranked Central Arkansas, to finish with their best record since 2008 at 6-6.
Player graded 80 percent or better in nine games, best on the team. He posted an 88 percent grade in two of the last three contests, and had the Demons’ highest offensive line grade six times.
He earned the team’s 2013 Kirt Straughter Memorial Trident Award for strength and conditioning excellence after winning the annual Trident Competition, a series of tests gauging top marks in speed, strength, agility and conditioning.
Player also received a Sam Goodwin Link Award for the 2013 season, presented by coaches to players for great effort, discipline, courage and toughness.
A four-year letterman, Player had 23 career starts at both guard and tackle, on the right and left side of the line. He played for three offensive line coaches in four seasons, including current CFL assistant Allen Rudolph (Hamilton) in 2011-12 and former UFL assistant Ben Norton in 2013. Norton was an American Guest Coach with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in their 2012 training camp.
He took part in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in December. He recently graduated from the Louisiana Scholar’s College at Northwestern with honors and was on the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll in all four seasons he played.
Player will become at least the 12th Demon to join the CFL, including a current star who has just returned to the BC Lions, 10-year veteran linebacker Jamall Johnson.
A two-year CFL All-Star, Johnson has played in 122 games, winning two Grey Cup championships, in 2006 with the Lions and last season with Hamilton.
He is one of only six CFL players to ever post two 100-tackle seasons after being a two-time (2003, 2004) All-American for NSU.
Player’s father, Paul, played college basketball at the University of Winnipeg.
The family relocated to the Dallas metroplex and Player competed in high school football at Cedar Hill High, a perennial Texas power that was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally during his career.