Former UConn center Alex Mateas has been considered a top CFL prospect since last season and on Tuesday he became the first Husky to be taken first overall in the CFL Draft.
"It is a great honor," Mateas said, via the New Haven Register's Jim Fuller. "This draft is packed with offensive linemen so it could have gone either way so I am excited they picked me and it is a great honor to be picked No. 1. Being drafted to your home city, you couldn't ask for anything better.
"It is time to focus on what we do and our job and that is to play pro football so it is now to get back to the grind."
Mateas, who grew up in Ottawa, Ont., was drafted by his hometown team, the Ottawa Redblacks.
"The opportunity to represent my home city and play football on the same field that I used to play soccer on as a kid is surreal," he said, via UConn's website. "I look forward to contributing any way possible to the team and to bring a Grey Cup back to Ottawa."
Mateas wasn't selected in the NFL Draft, held earlier this month, but he did have a tryout with the Jets. He went unsigned and now his football-playing future is in Canada.
And the Redblacks couldn't be happier.
"When you take into account Alex's abilities on the field, his durability, the level of competition that he played against as well as his integrity and intelligence, the selection of Alex was an easy decision," said Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins. "Add the fact that Ottawa is home and this is where he wants to be makes this the perfect selection."
2015: Alex Mateas, OL Ottawa (Round 1, Pick 1)
2013: Jesse Joseph, DE Montreal (3, 23)
2011: Moe Petrus, OL Hamilton (2, 10)
2009: Martin Bedard, TE Montreal (2, 14)
2006: DE Shawn Mayne, Hamilton (3, 18)
2006: DL Jason Ward, British Columbia (6 ,48)
2004: WR O'Neil Wilson, Montreal (3, 25)