ROB LEONE/ THE VARSITY

Linebacker Wilkerson DeSouza of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 Canadian Football League draft by the Calgary Stampeders this past month.

De Souza will join the team’s other draft picks, including the Stampeders’ top selection, defensive lineman Ameet Pall, for rookie camp starting on May 31st. The three-day will commence with a pair of two-a-days in McMahon Stadium in Calgary and end with a Red and White Day at the Methanex Bowl in Medicine Hat.

De Souza was selected by the Stampeders in the sixth round of the draft, 45th overall. This is the second consecutive year that a Varsity Blues athlete has been selected in the draft; De Souza follows in the footsteps of defensive back Hugo Lopez who was selected 14th overall by the Edmonton Eskimos in 2011.

In late January, De Souza was invited to the 2012 CFL’s Evaluation Camp, held in downtown Toronto in early March. The three-day evaluation session provides an opportunity for coaches and general managers across the league to interview and evaluate potential prospects.

“Wilkerson was the back bone of our defensive unit this season,” Varsity Blues head coach Greg Gary said before the Evaluation Camp. “ I can’t think of a player that has worked harder and we’re very happy that he has this chance to show CFL teams what he can do.”

Last season, DeSouza recorded 47  tackles, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries on his way to becoming an OUA first team all-star. In 2010 he was named the Blues’ most valuable player after leading the CIS with 62 tackles.

DeSouza now has to survive the grueling three-day rookie camp to make the team, but if he shows the talent that Blues’ supporters have come to expect, fans should see the linebacker back in Toronto on July 7th when the Stampeders take on the Toronto Argonauts at the Rogers Centre.

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