Approximately half of the CFL comprises "international" players. In most cases, that means Americans, which usually refers to former college stars and a few who drank a cup of coffee or two in the NFL.
As the CFL regular season kicks off Thursday (Saskatchewan at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS), let's highlight 10 players U.S.-based fans would recognize. Some of them will overlap with this story naming some of the CFL's top NFL prospects.
Vernon Adams Jr., QB, Montreal Alouettes
You know him because: He was one of college football's top players while at Oregon in 2015.
Adams, 24, turned to the CFL last summer after two failed tryouts with NFL teams. He signed with the BC Lions, then was traded to the Alouettes and started their final three games. That made it logical to presume Adams would enter the 2017 season as the starter, but the Alouettes' new regime instead acquired veteran Darian Durant and installed him as starter. Unless Durant falters or is injured, Adams will spend this season as a backup.
Dan LeFevour, QB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
You know him because: He scored a then-FBS-record 150 total TDs as Central Michigan's QB and was the Chicago Bears' sixth-round pick in 2010.
LeFevour has spent time on the rosters of four other NFL teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the most part, however, he has bounced around the CFL since 2012. He played in four games last season for Toronto, and in 2017, he will back up Winnipeg starter Matt Nichols.
Everett Golson, QB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
You know him because: He was the starter at Notre Dame for two seasons (2012 and 2014) and for one at Florida State (2015).
Golson was a backup to Tiger-Cats starter Zach Collaros in 2016 and did not throw a pass. He's in the same spot this season for a team that has Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick on its negotiation list.
Stefan Logan, RB/KR/PR, Montreal Alouettes
You know him because: He spent four seasons in the NFL as a return specialist.
Logan first appeared in the CFL in 2008 before leaving to spend 2009 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and 2010-12 with the Detroit Lions. The Lions benched and released him in 2012, prompting a return to the CFL. At 36, he's set for another season with the Alouettes after averaging 13.5 yards on 86 punt returns and 23 yards on 53 kickoffs in 2016.
Justin Medlock, PK/P, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
You know him because: His struggles with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 were a primary storyline on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Medlock, a fifth-round pick of the Chiefs that season, struggled throughout training camp and was released after just one regular-season game. He kicked for the Carolina Panthers in 2010 but has been a CFL mainstay since 2009. Last season, he converted 60 of 68 field goals for the Blue Bombers and 42.7 yards on 112 punts.
Da'Quan Bowers, DL, Edmonton Eskimos
You know him because: He was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' second-round pick in 2011.
Bowers managed only seven sacks in five seasons with the Buccaneers, in part because of a knee injury that was detected before the draft. He last played in the NFL in 2015 and is entering his first CFL season with the Eskimos.
Duron Carter, WR, Saskatchewan Roughriders
You know him because: He is the highly productive son of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter.
Duron Carter had an extended tryout with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 before returning to the CFL. Will he get another chance in the NFL? It's not out of the question. In the meantime, however, he's getting a fresh start with the Roughriders after catching 185 passes for 2,877 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first three CFL seasons.
Chris Rainey, RB, BC Lions
You know him because: He had stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012) and Indianapolis Colts (2013), in addition to a 2,464-yard career at the University of Florida.
Rainey established himself last season for the Lions as a productive running back (309 yards), receiver (252 yards) and returner (13.9 yards on 68 punt returns, 23.4 on yards on 58 kickoff returns). He might be the most feared returner in the league this season.
Darian Durant, QB, Montreal Alouettes
You know him because: He was a record-setting quarterback at North Carolina.
Durant finished his Tar Heels career in 2004 with 51 school records. After spending 2005 with the Baltimore Ravens, he moved to the CFL and a 10-year run with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. A two-time Grey Cup champion and two-time CFL All-Star, Durant was traded to Montreal during the offseason and now takes over as the Alouettes' starter.
Brandon Banks, WR, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
You know him because: He was the Washington Redskins' return specialist from 2010-12.
Banks is a 5-foot-7, 150-pound speedster who is finding a home as a receiver out of the backfield, as well as a return specialist for the Tiger-Cats. Last season, he caught 32 passes for 376 yards and four touchdowns while also returning 61 punts and 55 kickoffs. He also returned three missed field goals, two for touchdowns.