OGDEN -- Tyrell Francisco's future in professional football is waiting, but he's too busy to talk to the team that drafted him.
Francisco was taken in the fifth round (36th overall) by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League in May, despite having missed all of last season at Weber State to an Achilles tendon injury suffered in fall camp.
CFL draft rules allow the senior tight end, a native of Kelowna, British Columbia, to finish his college career at Weber State before beginning his pro career.
"That's a whole season away," Francisco said of the CFL. "I'm not really focused on that. I'm focused on Weber State right now. That's where all my attention is."
That doesn't mean Francisco, who celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday, isn't excited about playing professionally in his native Canada.
"It's awesome," he said. "It's definitely the coolest thing that's ever happened to me in football, getting drafted in the Canadian Football League, so I'm not downplaying it, just there's a time for it and the time's not right now. The time is for Weber State."
Over the years, Weber State has had 27 players taken in the Canadian Football League draft, including Francisco's current position coach, Tom Stackaruk, a native of Smithville, Ontario, who came to WSU as an offensive lineman in 1988 and played a couple of years in the CFL after college.
Former Wildcat Bruce Covernton was the No. 1 pick in the Canadian Football League draft in 1992 and Dimitri Tsoumpas went second overall in 2008.
Now, Francisco is part of a tight end group that needs to help Weber State bridge its running and passing games as the Wildcats break in a new quarterback, Mike Hoke, and replace their top receivers and rushers from a year ago.
Francisco, who bounced back from an Achilles injury in 2008 as well, has played in 34 career games at WSU, catching 14 passes and three touchdowns.
Last year, Brian Jankowski started all 11 games at tight end as a sophomore, catching 10 passes for 89 yards and one touchdown to earn All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention honors, giving WSU another tight end with experience as Francisco returns to fight for his old starting job.
"(Jankowski) is a good player. The more good players we have, the better it is for the team," Francisco said. "I'm going to do my part to contribute, I'm sure he'll bring his A game and we're all going to hopefully mend together and win a championship."
Stackaruk said having multiple tight ends can mean multiple offensive threats.
"We always like to play with a fullback, but you can do some things formationally, to have your tight end maybe not playing in an I-back set, but have two tight ends on one side, motion them, so you're really getting into a two-back running set. Instead of doing it with a fullback, you're doing it with two tight ends," he said. "With those two guys with experience, we'll see if we can develop that part of our offense and that would be a great weapon to have."
Converted receiver Jordan Clemente, a sophomore from Tooele, is making strides as a blocker and can get to the second level in the passing game, Stackaruk said.
Oklahoma State transfer Mike Sosanya, a 6-foot-5 junior making the transition from the defensive line, and Zane Smith, a freshman out of Brighton High School, are also developing at the position.
"That mixture of guys makes it pretty competitive," he said.
Francisco said he worked hard to overcome the second major ACL injury of his career to have a chance to help the Wildcats again.
"I tried to make the best out of it," he said. "You try to stay positive when something negative happens like that. I had a lot of support, the training staff, friends, family -- I just had the end goal of where I wanted to be. For me, it was all about goals: achievable, one at a time, until you achieve the ultimate goal."