CFL: Japanese talent impresses at CFL Global Combine in Kawasaki

The Canadian Football League and Chief Football Operations officer Greg Dick continued their search for international talent as the CFL looks to continue to build its global program with new talent in 2023.

Greg Dick and other CFL scouts travelled to Kawasaki City on February 25th to watch an intriguing group of 20 Japanese players. These prospects hope to earn an invite to the CFL Combine later this year in Edmonton on March 21-25, 2023. So far ten global players have already been invited, with approximately 10 more international spots available.

The CFL will hold another global combine in the United Kingdom later this month, which will feature another round of several players from around Europe.

Photo Via X-League

Dick was impressed with the talent on display on a cold day in Kanagawa.

“They were very strong and speedy. They are very disciplined and well-coached”

The group of prospects taking the field was a curious mix of X-League veterans such as Fujitsu Frontiers linebacker Hiroki Tokumo, along with ex-Japanese College football standout and 2022 Hula Bowl invite Ryo Miyazawa.

According to the X-League website the players who stood out were WR Ryo Miyazawa (JF Oberlin University), RB Atsumo Endo (Dentsu Caterpillars), WR Ryuya Yamanaka (Obic Seagulls), LB Yu Konishi (Panasonic Impulse) and LB Hiroki Tokumo (Fujitsu Frontiers).

Ryo Miyazawa in drills - via X-League

Former Sumo wrestler Hidetora Hanada was also in attendance as his size and strength turned a few heads on the day. Greg Dick spoke on the former amateur champions potential on the gridiron:

“His size is very good and his potential is very high, his technique and experience need to develop.”

See Hanada’s bench press below:

See more clips from the combine here:

 See the full list of participants here: 

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and