OTTAWA — Antoine Pruneau, the top pick by the Ottawa REDBLACKS during the CFL Draft on May 13, has signed a contract with the club.
The 24-year-old speedy defensive back from Montreal was the fourth overall selection of this year’s draft. The 6-foot, 200-pound Pruneau played eight games for the Université de Montréal Carabins last season, making 41 tackles with 41 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles.
Pruneau also added 10 kickoff returns for 259 yards and one touchdown, and had a missed field goal return of 119 yards for a major during a 16-9 loss on Sept. 22, 2013 against Laval.
He had an 89-yard touchdown return on Aug. 31 during a 48-3 win over Concordia and was named to the Second Team of the 2013 CIS Football All-Canadians list.
“Antoine runs a 4.3 in the 40 and those guys are hard to find at any level of football – major NCAA, CIS, CFL and even the NFL,” said Marcel Desjardins, general manager of the REDBLACKS.
“He’s highly versatile and is capable of playing free safety, field corner, SAM linebacker and even WILL linebacker if needed. On top of this, he’s a top-notch kick returner who can change the field every time he touches the ball and has shown the capability to return them for touchdowns. Antoine is a tough, hard-nosed football player who plays as fast as he times.”
The REDBLACKS also signed four other draftees today, including two local players from the 2013 first-round pick and Ottawa Valley native Nolan MacMillan, a 6-foot-6, 294-pound offensive lineman, and Kanata native Connor Williams; a 6-foot-3, 278-pound defensive end.
MacMillan was chosen ninth overall by Ottawa in the team’s first-ever draft selection during the 2013 draft, held May 6, 2013. MacMillan, born in Arnprior and raised in Renfrew, played collegiate football last season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He is an accomplished scholar-athlete who was on the honour roll at The Hun School of Princeton in New Jersey.
Williams played four seasons of NCAA football at Utah State where he had 87 total tackles, 10 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 38 games and 23 starts.
Williams, a graduate of Holy Trinity in Kanata, played minor football for the Kanata Knights and Myers Riders and was named MVP of the Riders in his final season.
The REDBLACKS also signed 2014 draftees Scott MacDonell and Vincent Desloges.
MacDonell, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver from Montreal established himself as a top Ontario University Athletics (OUA) wideout in 2013, setting personal bests in receptions (30), receiving yards (441) and four touchdowns for the Queen’s Golden Gaels.
The REDBLACKS selected MacDonell in the second round, 13th overall, in the 2014 draft.
Desloges, a defensive lineman who played collegiate football at Laval, was chosen in the seventh round (55th overall).
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Desloges played four seasons for the Rouge et Or and appeared in four Vanier Cup championships (2010-2013), winning three (2010, 2011, 2013). Desloges was the recipient of the Bruce Coulter Award in the 2013 match as the game’s most outstanding defensive player.