EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos stuck close to home with their first pick of the Canadian Football League draft on Saturday.
The Eskimos selected Alberta Golden Bears offensive tackle Gord Hinse at No. 11 overall. They followed that pick with the selection of Queen’s defensive lineman Dee Sterling at No. 12 overall.
Hinse, 21, stands six-foot-four and weighs 310 pounds and quickly moved up the ratings board, thanks to a solid outing at a scouting combine in Laval, Que. He started the 2008 season at guard and slid over to tackle. The versatile athlete has also played centre.
Being selected by the Eskimos was a shock for the local product.
“It’s kinda been a dream of mine, growing up watching the Eskimos play. Living in Edmonton, to play at Commonwealth and play for the Green and Gold is huge,” admitted Hinse. “I’m still blown away. It hasn’t even sunk in yet. I’m really, really excited about it.”
Hinse is also a teammate of Saturday’s first-overall selection and fellow offensive tackle Simeon Rottier, who was taken by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“That’s outstanding,” said Rottier, of Hinse, who was also one of Rottier’s groomsmen at his wedding two weeks ago. “He just got picked by the Eskimos, that’s awesome.”
Sterling is a six-foot-four, 235-pound defensive tackle who hails from Kingston, Ont., and was named a Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-Canadian in 2008. He recorded a team-high 5.5 sacks against Laurier in a Sept. 15 outing, a half-sack off the all-time single-game CIS record.
The remaining Esks’ picks:
• Round 3, 20th overall, 23-year-old linebacker Andrea Bonaventura, U of Calgary, six-foot-two, 225 pounds.
• Round 5, 36th overall, 26-year-old running back Eric Lee, Weber State, five-foot-11, 235 pounds.
• Round 6, 44th overall, Western Ontario linebacker Jason Kosec, 21, six-foot-four, 214 pounds.