Colton Hunchak, the last player picked in 2019 CFL draft, is first to admit he's living his dream
Published Thursday, October 10, 2019 3:23PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 10, 2019 9:54PM MDT
Colton Hunchak was born and raised in Calgary. He played high school football at Notre Dame and even back then, dreamed of one day playing for the Calgary Stampeders.
Draft-eligible, Hunchak waited a long time to hear his name called at the 2019 CFL draft.
In fact, he waited as long as any aspiring Canadian Football League player could have, because Hunchak was chosen last overall by the Stamps.
That didn't put much of a dent in his mood that day, though. Hunchak says he was thrilled.
“I was ecstatic," he said, in an interview with CTV News. "I had my whole family at my agent's house (on draft day). (As it turned out), it was a long stressful night but I couldn’t have been happier with the decision Calgary made to take me.”
Stampeders receivers coach Pete Constanta first got to know Hunchak at Dave Dickenson’s annual football camp.
Constanta was the first one to talk to the rookie after the draft and says it was one of the favourite phone calls he’s ever made to a drafted player.
“I told him congratulations and he’s like 'coach, you know I was born and raised in this city and I won’t let you down. And I won’t let Coach Dave down and I won’t be outworked," he says.
Hunchak impressed at camp but ultimately didn’t make the opening game roster.
It turned out that wasn’t the end of the story, however. When the Stamps ran into early season injuries, they called Hunchak back and signed him to a contract and he hasn’t disappointed.
Hunchak has a high football I.Q. He learns fast and has earned the trust of the team's quarterbacks.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell absolutely loves the story of Colton Hunchak.
“The story everybody wants to hear about is the Colton Hunchaks of the world,” Mitchell said. "Guys that get drafted low and maybe they don’t expect much out of you and then all of the sudden you become a starting receiver on your hometown team and you catch the ball to win a Grey Cup.”
That dream will have to come later. For now, Hunchak pinches himself every time he steps onto the field in his Stampeders jersey just to make sure he isn't dreaming.
“It’s crazy you know, even just talking to my dad and seeing the smile on his face having me run out there. And you know, playing for my little girl as well,” Hunchak said. “It’s been awesome and I’m never going to forget this feeling and I’m going to keep it going.”
Hunchak gets another chance to shine in front of the hometown fans on Friday night as the Stamps face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a 7:30 p.m. first place showdown at McMahon Stadium.