(Edmonton) It’s a local kid makes good story about a football player from Strathcona High School and the University of Alberta who made stops in the NFL and CFL, has made a major impact on amateur football in Alberta, and now finds himself in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Brian Fryer grew up in Edmonton and was named Most Outstanding Athlete at Strathcona High School, competing in football, basketball and track & field. He went on to be a star receiver at the University of Alberta where he set several CIS records including most receiving yards in a game, a season and a career, along with most receptions in a season and a career, and most receiving touchdowns in a season.
Fryer was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 8th round of the 1976 NFL Draft. He was the first-ever player from a Canadian university to be drafted and signed by an NFL team and make it onto the roster as a rookie. He was the only one out of 34 rookies to make the team that year.
Fryer joined the Eskimos at the beginning of their Five-in-a-Row dynasty in 1978. He complimented a talented receiving corps which included the likes of Brian Kelly, Tom Scott and Waddell Smith. Eight years and five Grey Cups later, Brian retired from the CFL after the 1985 season.
Hugh Campbell coached Fryer from 1978 to 1982 during the Five-in-a-Row. “Brian has made a tremendous contribution to football in Alberta and across Canada as an executive, but I hope everyone will remember him also for being an outstanding football player who caught every ball, blocked well and was an excellent teammate and leader. Brian is very deserving of this recognition.”
A year after retiring from his playing career, Fryer became the Executive Director of Football Alberta – a position he still holds today. His duties include running and organizing all the amateur football programs in Alberta. He is also very active in the Eskimo Alumni Association, having served both on the Board of Directors and as President of the Alumni Association.
The Edmonton Eskimos are hosting the 50th Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this fall. Stay tuned to esks.com for details.
Brian Fryer’s Football Accomplishments
• Vanier Cup championship – 1972 • Five all-purpose touchdowns in a game – 1973 • CIS Western All-Star – 1974, 1975 • CIS All-Canadian All-Star – 1974, 1975 • First 1000-yard receiving season in CIS history (1068 yards) – 1974 • West Hec Creighton nominee – 1974 • Hec Creighton winner -1975 • Bill Woywitka Trophy for Most Valuable Player on the team – 1975 • University of Alberta Wilson Challenge Trophy as the most outstanding male athlete – 1975 • Five Grey Cup championships – 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 • University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame – 1983 • Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as part of the team awards for winning the Grey Cup 5 years in a row – 1997 • City of Edmonton’s Sports Hall of Fame – 2005 • Alberta Schools Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame – 2008 • Canadian Football Hall of Fame – 2013
Finished his U of A career with the following CIS Records
• Most receiving yards in a game (227) • Most receiving yards in a season (1068) • Most receiving yards in a career (2655) • Most receptions in a season (58) • Most receptions in a career (136) • Most receiving touchdowns in a season (14)
Finished his U of A career second in the CIS in the following categories
• Career touchdowns (34) • Receiving touchdowns in a career (20)