University of Connecticut center Alex Mateas (Ottawa, Ont.) was the first overall pick in Tuesday's Canadian Football League Draft and was selected by the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Mateas started all 24 games for the Huskies the past two seasons at center and in 2012 he started the first four and last game at center -- playing in a total of eight games that season. He sat out the 2011 season at UConn after transferring from Penn State.
Mateas played high school football at Merivale and in juniors for the Ottawa Sooners.
"It is an honor to be picked number one overall in the 2015 CFL Draft by the REDBLACKS," said Mateas. "The opportunity to represent my home city and play football on the same field that I used to play soccer on as a kid is surreal. I look forward to contributing any way possible to the team and to bring a Grey Cup back to Ottawa."
The REDBLACKS begin training camp at Carleton University on Wednesday, May 27 when rookies report.
"When you take into account Alex's abilities on the field, his durability, the level of competition that he played against as well as his integrity and intelligence, the selection of Alex was an easy decision," said REDBLACKS general manager Marcel Desjardins. "Add the fact that Ottawa is home and this is where he wants to be makes this the perfect selection."
In total, seven UConn players have been selected in the CFL Draft since 2000. The last Connecticut player selected was defensive end Jesse Joseph by the Montreal Alouettes in the third round of the 2013 draft.