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Chilliwack Giants grad Matt McConnell lands with BC Lions

A long and winding path takes the defensive back to a CFL training camp

A Chilliwack Giants football alum will head into training camp with the B.C. Lions.

The Canadian Football League club announced the signing of defensive back Matt McConnell earlier this week, taking a gamble on a player who hasn’t played in nearly four years.

McConnell last hit the field in 2017 as a member of the U-Sports Saint Mary’s University. He was with the Huskies for two years and 15 games, posting 42 tackles, five interceptions and four pass breakups. But in November of 2017 McConnell was hit with a two year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation, sidelining him for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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He would have been eligible to return in 2020, and there was some thought the Lions might take a flier on him in the 2020 CFL draft, but COVID wiped out that season.

Standing six-foot-three and weighing 200 pounds, McConnell isn’t afraid to play physical and drop the hammer on opposing pass catchers.

Before moving into the U-Sports ranks, he was a BC Football Conference star with the Okanagan Sun and the Lions have had their eye on him for a long time. He was invited to several of the team’s junior evaluation camps between 2014 and 2016.

Prior to that, he played with the Chilliwack Giants minor football program.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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