May 3, 2012



TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts pick six and score a touchdown in the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft, loading up on defence. In all, four of the club’s six picks were on defence, two were on offence. The Argos looked to the future by selecting three futures prospects in DL Cleyon Laing, LB Herve Tonye-Tonye and FB Luke Willson with three of their first four choices.

Argonauts’ General Manager Jim Barker enthused, “I’m ecstatic with our draft! Given where we were situated in this year’s draft, we’re thrilled with the value of the picks that we got. We took three exciting future picks that could potentially be starters down the road. I couldn’t be happier.”

2012 Toronto Argonauts’ Draft Summary:






DL Cleyon Laing*, Iowa State



LB Herve Tonye-Tonye*, Northern Colorado



WR Quincy Hurst, Manitoba



FB Luke Willson*, Rice



LB Aaron Crawford, St. Mary’s



DB Shea Pierre, Windsor

*Futures Prospect

Jim Barker discussed first pick, DL Cleyon Laing, “Cleyon is a strong, physical presence inside; he’s a big man with great athleticism and these types of players don’t come along every year. He had a great spring at Iowa State and he has one more year of eligibility there. This is a pick for the future and we’re thrilled to have been able to select him ninth overall.”  

Commented Argos’ first draft pick, DL Cleyon Laing,“I’m excited to get an opportunity to play in Toronto. I haven’t been to Toronto since I was a young kid so I’m excited to get back. I’m also a Raptors and Jays fan so I look forward to going to their games. I’ve been training and working hard to finish out my college career.”

Barker commented on another futures prospect, LB Herve Tonye-Tonye, “We tried to trade up to get Tonye-Tonye in the third round and were ecstatic when he fell to us in the fourth round. He’s a big player with great explosiveness and speed. We’re confident he can play linebacker and on special teams for us.”

Tonye-Tonye, who played at Alcorn State but is currently attending Northern Colorado, said, “This is a huge weight off of my shoulders.  I’m in the middle of finals right now so I probably won’t get to celebrate until I get home.  I have an exam in physics tomorrow.  Toronto is a wonderful place and I’ve enjoyed visiting there.  The football tradition in Toronto is great and I look forward to playing there.”

Barker enthused about WR Quincy Hurst: “He has great speed and great ability to separate. We saw him in Duane Forde’s camp and we were very impressed with his ability. We believe he’ll be a strong contributor to our team one day. ”

Said speedy receiver Quincy Hurst, “This feels fantastic – it’s a dream come true. This is the day I’ve been working for my whole life.  I’m ecstatic to be drafted by Toronto. I love big city atmospheres.  I plan to bring my speed, my ability to score and the ability to stretch the defence to the Argos. I am going to keep training and get prepared between now and training camp. I can’t wait!”

Barker said about the athletically-gifted FB Luke Willson, who plays tight end in college and was a member of the Canadian Junior National Baseball team, “Luke Willson is a futures prospect for us. He’s a great athlete that has signed a contract and is currently in extended spring camp with the Toronto Blue Jays but is going back to Rice to play football because he loves football. We think he’s versatile and has great size and we’re excited to get him into camp next year.”

Commented Luke Willson, “I was watching the draft tracker on my phone as I was driving to training.  When I saw I was picked, I was so excited I missed my exit. Toronto is my hometown team and I grew up watching Pinball Clemons. My favourite colour is blue and I am so happy to stay in Ontario and have the opportunity to play for the Argonauts in the future. The combination of my size and speed are the strengths of my game. I am thankful to the Argonauts for this opportunity and am looking to making the most of it.”

Commented Barker on LB Aaron Crawford, “Aaron Crawford is a gifted athlete who has great hands. We believe he can easily make the transition to the offensive side of the ball and play fullback. He can also long snap, which gives us more depth at that position.”

Crawford, who grew up in Alberta as an Argos fan, remarked, “I didn’t want to watch the Draft – I was too nervous.  Then I got the call from the Argos and I was ecstatic. Toronto has been my favourite team since I was little and I met Pinball Clemons at a football camp in Medicine Hat.  I hope to bring physicality and intensity to the field and use my size to my advantage.”

Barker said of LB Shea Pierre, “Shea offers us Canadian depth at the defensive back position. He runs well, is good in coverage, has a good work ethic and can also play special teams.”

Pierre, who lives in Mississauga and trains with Andre Durie, enthused, “This is amazing! It was the final round and I didn’t know if I would be drafted.  Then I saw my name on the screen and I was stunned.  The Argos practice facility is only 10 minutes from my home.  I really enjoyed my interview with the team during Evaluation Camp and am thrilled to play for my hometown team. I actually train with Andre Durie three times a week and he’s been helping me get better. I’m excited to call him a teammate!”