May 1, 2024 | By: Lakeland News

BSU Football’s Dhel Duncan-Busby is 1st Beaver Ever Picked in CFL Draft

There were lots of firsts for Bemidji State football this past season: their first road playoff victory, first time hosting a second-round playoff game, and now, they have their first ever student-athlete selected in the CFL draft.

Last night, former Beaver receiver Dhel Duncan-Busby traded one green-and-white jersey for another as he was drafted in the third round with the 23rd overall pick by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

The 6’1″, 207 1lbs. wideout is originally from Canada, hailing from Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of the Greater Toronto area. After moving to the US, he didn’t begin playing football until his senior year of high school, but it was at BSU where he learned what it took to get to the next level.

“It was a lot of the little things, even in terms of, like, size and stuff like that,” Duncan-Busby said. “When I first got to Bemidji, I was like, 185. I mean, I left at 210. So being able to put on that kind of weight was pretty beneficial. Obviously getting stronger and faster, those also became pretty important as well. But I mean, at the end of the day, it was just like, I bought into the system, I bought into the culture that we were trying to implement while being there, and it worked in my favor.”

Duncan-Busby took that development to the CFL Combine, showing his speed and finishing fifth among 72 participants in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.56. That, among other drills, turned the head of Roughrider scouts, who took him with the team’s third pick of the evening.

And when that moment finally came, and his named showed on the draft ticker, the BSU alum says the relief set in.

“I mean, I’ve been sitting here anxiously waiting for so long, it feels, like just to kind of know where I’m going to be, because I knew obviously there was an opportunity for potentially in the NFL, but that isn’t looking so hot right now,” he said. “So I just wanted to know where I was going. So once I kind of figured out that I was going to Saskatchewan and Regina, and it just kind of was like a big burden that got lifted off my shoulders.”

Duncan-Busby also reflected on the support he’s gotten after he was selected. “[The Roughriders] have an incredible fan base. I know that they have one of, like, the biggest ones. I mean, just with the amount of love and support that I got yesterday on social media, just from them, it was kind of cool just to kind of see that, and they’re a pretty profound organization out there and they’re looking to to make big things happen.”

In his 47 career games at BSU, Duncan-Busby certainly made his mark in the record books, planting himself in the top five in numerous statistical categories. He said none of this would have been possible with the great coaches and teammates he had around him at Bemidji State.

Lakeland News is member supported content, please consider supporting Lakeland PBS today.

Support the Businesses That Support Lakeland PBS

Related News