February 8, 2022

REDBLACKS beef up in the trenches w/ trio


OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS solidified their offensive line as free agency opened on Tuesday, inking American lineman Ucambre Williams and nationals Hunter Steward and Darius Ciraco.

“We made a commitment to building a skilled and strong offensive line going into this season and these additions, along with bringing in Jacob Ruby, we believe will go a long way in doing that,” said general manager Shawn Burke.

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Williams, 29, has spent his entire five-season CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders, where he suited up for 63 career regular-season games. The Alabaman has played right tackle and right guard but moved to centre in 2017 and started at the position when the Stamps won the 2018 Grey Cup. The six-foot-three, 298-pound product of the University of South Alabama was a CFL West all-star, the Stamps’ top lineman and the West Division nominee for best offensive lineman. Williams’ contract is for the 2022 season.

Steward, 30, is a seven-season CFL veteran who has spent his entire career with the BC Lions. The six-foot-six, 315-pounder from Calgary has 89 games under his belt as he makes the trip east to Ottawa. Steward was selected in the first round and sixth overall by the Lions in the 2013 CFL draft and made his debut with the club in 2014. He played college ball at Virginia’s Liberty University. Steward’s contract is for the 2022 season.

Ciraco, 25, spent the first three seasons of his CFL career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In three campaigns, the Burlington, Ont. native and University of Calgary product dressed for all but 8 games. The six-foot-four, 292-pound lineman was drafted with Hamilton’s sixth-overall pick in the 2018 CFL Draft, and was named the Ticats’ most outstanding rookie in 2018. Ciraco’s contract is for the 2022 season.

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