A pair of Redbirds & a Saluki among those opening Canadian football season

Two former Illinois State quarterbacks and a Southern Illinois defensive back are among those on Canadian Football League rosters as the game north of the border opened its preseason schedule this past weekend.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn is set to begin his 18th season when the CFL regular season opens June 14. He signed as a free agent with Edmonton during the offseason. The 38-year-old Glenn set numerous records at Illinois State before beginning his CFL career in 2001.

(photo courtesy of the leader-post.com)

(photo courtesy of the leader-post.com)

Glenn, a native of Detroit, is the first player in CFL history to have been on all nine rosters at some point throughout his career. Glenn is expected to provide the Eskimos a solid backup option for starter Mike Reilly. Glenn has passed for 52,867 yards and 294 touchdowns in the Canadian game.

While Glenn is considered to be a Canadian hall of fame candidate, another former ISU Redbird quarterback already has a connection to those enshrined at the Hamilton, Ontario museum.

Tre Roberson is the grandson of Canadian Football Hall of Fame member Larry Highbaugh, who played 13 seasons in the CFL including 12 for the Edmonton Eskimos.

In the meantime, Roberson has since switched positions to defensive back. After spending time in Minnesota Vikings training camp and on the NFL team’s practice squad the past two seasons, Roberson signed with the Calgary Stampeders in May.

Roberson played two seasons (2014-15) at Illinois State. He established school records for career rushing yards (1,806) and touchdowns (22) by a quarterback. He threw for 5,446 career yards for the Redbirds and had 48 touchdown passes. He started his collegiate career at Indiana and was the first quarterback in school history to start as a true freshman. In 23 career games for the Hoosiers, he passed for 2,433 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 982 yards and 10 scores.

Former SIU Saluki Anthony Thompson has enjoyed a breakout 2017 season with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. (photo courtesy of the BC Lions)

Former SIU Saluki Anthony Thompson has enjoyed a breakout 2017 season with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. (photo courtesy of the BC Lions)

Yet, it is former Southern Illinois defensive back Anthony Thompson who figures to have the biggest impact once the CFL season kicks off. Thompson, the 12th overall pick in the 2016 CFL Draft,  took a giant leap forward last season, earning a starting job out of training camp and providing a number of big plays for the BC Lions.

According to his CFL biography, “After beginning the season as the boundary corner, Anthony eventually found a home playing safety and started all 18 regular season games, racking-up 36 defensive tackles, intercepting one pass and knocking down three others. He notched career-high seven tackles in Hamilton on July 15 and hauled in his first CFL interception with a memorable diving effort against Saskatchewan on August 5.”



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