Lions extend three Nationals, sign two ’22 draft picks

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have signed linebacker Jacob Firlotte, offensive lineman Tyler Packer and defensive lineman Riley Pickett, all Nationals, to contract extensions.

Firlotte joined the Lions prior to 2022 training camp and spent most of the season on the practice roster while suiting up in his lone contest on Aug. 26 against Saskatchewan. A member of the Sts’Ailes First Nation, Firlotte was a seventh-round pick (58th overall) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2018 and spent his rookie season on the practice roster. The Abbotsford, BC native was previously a member of the BCFC Langley Rams and recorded one punt return touchdown, an interception and 11 defensive tackles with the squad.

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Packer suited up in a pair of regular season games in his rookie campaign and spent the majority of the year on the practice roster. A sixth-round selection (51st overall) by the Lions in 2021, Packer had a solid university career with the Calgary Dinos, where he was named Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2017 and a Canada West All-Star in 2018. Packer helped the Dinos capture the 2019 Vanier Cup, their first national title since 1995.

Pickett appeared in 10 regular season games this past season while recording three total tackles (two special teams, one defence). Pickett suited up in 30 games over three seasons (2018-2019, 2021) with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and racked up 65 solo tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks and six pass knockdowns. Pickett helped the Huskies capture the 2018 Hardy Cup and previously won three consecutive CJFL national titles (Canadian Bowl) with the Saskatoon Hilltops from 2015-2017.

The club also announced the signings of 2022 Draft picks, linebacker Ryder Varga and defensive lineman Adam Wallace. Both players attended 2022 training camp before returning to school for their final year of eligibility.

Varga, a third-round selection (29th overall) in 2022, played in 32 games with the University of Regina Rams from 2018-2022, recording 157 total tackles (115 solo, 42 assisted), 21.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. Varga was also named a Canada West All-Star in 2021.

Wallace, a native of North, Bay Ont. was a member of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees from 2018-2022, appearing in 18 games and recording 13 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Wallace was drafted by the Lions in the eighth round (68th overall) in 2022.

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