Abbotsford’s Nelson Lokombo will be staying put in Saskatchewan.
The W.J. Mouat grad was chosen in the first round, second overall by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League draft on Tuesday (May 4).
Abbotsford football fans may recall Lokombo as an effective running back in high school, but he’s made a successful transition to the defensive side of the ball with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
He earned the USports national defensive football player of the year in 2019, collecting four interceptions and running back two of those for touchdowns. He added 23.5 tackles and 4.5 tackles-for-loss.
Lokombo was ranked 14th overall back October for the CFL’s Top-20 prospects list, but interest in the defensive back increased in recent months and combined with the Roughriders desire to add defensive talent it created a perfect storm for the Abbotsford native.
His older brother Bo Lokombo has also had a successful pro football career, as he was drafted by the B.C. Lions in 2014 after a strong high school football run at Mouat.
He went on to spend time on the practice squad rosters of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers before returning to the CFL in 2018 with the Lions. He spent 2019 with the Montreal Alouettes and is currently property of the Toronto Argonauts. Bo is back on the Lions for the 2021 season.
There was speculation that Nelson could have had some interest from American teams, but due to Canada West not taking a year off due to COVID-19 that opportunity did not occur.
Lokombo joins a Roughriders team that finished in first place in the West Division with a record of 13-5. Saskatchewan fell 20-13 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western final.
The CFL season is scheduled to begin in August.