REGINA -- The Canadian Football League released its top 20 prospects from the Winter Scouting Bureau rankings on Wednessday, and a promising member of the Saskatchewan Huskies made the cut.

Defensive back Nelson Lokombo is listed 19th, down five spots from his previous position at 14th in the fall. The CFL Scouting Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, as well as player personnel directors and general managers from across the league.

The fourth-year player has not played a meaningful game since 2019. 

“It’s definitely been tough, this year is not how we wanted it to be. Not having a season really sucks,” Lokombo said. 

The reigning USports Football Defensive Player of the Year has spent the year in his hometown of Abbottsford, B.C. He has had to get creative without access to gyms or training facilities. 

“We’ve been doing mostly on fieldwork, increasing speed, doing some sand work, doing hills,” Lokombo said. 

Lokombo has been training with his brother Boseko, a five-year CFL veteran currently with the Montreal Alouettes. 

“I’ve always been inspired by my brother. Having a guy who is in the CFL, who is a CFL vet is huge,” Lokombo said. “We’ll sit down together and watch some games, he’ll show me some games and show me some of the concepts.”

In November, Lokombo was invited to the prestigious East-West Shrine Bowl in Florida. He was just the seventh player in U of S history to be asked to play in the game, which has NFL scouts and coaches in attendance. However, last week the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions. 

“It’s upsetting, but you can’t dwell on it, it’s out of your control. All you can really do is get better,” Lokombo said. 

Given that many Canadian prospects did not play in 2020 due to the USports football season being cancelled, the CFL allowed players – including NCAA prospects – to defer their CFL draft to 2022. One hundred and thirty-two players took the option. However, some players, including Lokombo, were encouraged by their coaches to enter the 2021 CFL draft. 

“It’s definitely a little bit better to have a smaller draft class you could say because I know next year’s it’s going to be almost like a double draft class for some of those guys,” said Logan Bandy, an offensive lineman with the Calgary Dinos.

“The opportunity right now to do so, coming off last year was a pretty good year,” said Lokombo. 

The CFL has not announced a date for the draft, but it is expected to be held after the NFL draft in early May.