Riders sign six from their 2023 Draft class

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced on Monday that they have signed six players from their 2023 Draft class, including defensive lineman Lake Korte-Moore and defensive back Jaxon Ford.

Korte-Moore (six-foot-four, 262 pounds) was the Roughriders’ first round selection, third overall, in the 2023 CFL Draft. He spent four collegiate seasons (2018-2022) at the University of British Columbia recording 110 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two interceptions, eight pass knockdowns and three forced fumbles over 34 games.

The Ottawa native had a breakout season in 2022, logging a career high 48 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks to earn a Canada West All-Star selection. Korte-Moore participated in the 2023 College Gridiron Showcase and posted the highest vertical jump among defensive linemen at the CFL Combine.

» A team-by-team look at the 2023 CFL Draft
» Results: 2023 Global Draft
» Quoteboard: Reaction from the top-three picks
» Riders dive into draft with Lake Korte-Moore at third overall

Ford has history in Regina as a Ram and through his grandfather, former Riders player and GM Al Ford (Christian Bender/CFL.ca)

Ford (six-foot, 199 pounds) was selected by the Roughriders in the second round, 11th overall, of the 2023 CFL Draft. He played four seasons (2018-2022) at the University of Regina. In 29 games, the 22-year-old recorded 130 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions, 11 pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one blocked kick. In 2022, Ford started all eight games at safety for the Rams and earned U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian honours and was named a Canada West All-Star. Born and raised in Regina, Ford is the grandson of legendary Roughrider player and general manager Al Ford.

Dean (six-foot-one, 227 pounds) was selected in the third round, 21st overall in 2023 CFL Draft. He spent four collegiate seasons (2018-2022) at York University. The 23-year-old logged 115 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions, seven pass knockdowns, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal over 31 games. Dean was named an OUA All-Star and Team MVP in 2022 and to the OUA All-Rookie Team in 2018.

Bertrand-Hudon (six-foot, 227 pounds) was selected bv the Roughriders in the fourth round, 30th overall, of the 2023 CFL Draft. He spent four collegiate seasons (2019-2022) at Delaware State University. The Quebec native registered 239 carries for 1,016 yards and 10 touchdowns, while adding 11 catches for 51 receiving yards over 27 games. In 2019, Bertrand-Hudon led the Hornets and was sixth in the MEAC averaging 56.6 rushing yards per game. The 26-year-old had a strong showing at the 2023 CFL Combine, finishing with the fastest 40-yard dash of all running backs at 4.71 seconds and the quickest shuttle time of all participants, clocking in a time of 4.16 seconds.

Floren (six-foot-four, 303 pounds)was the Roughriders’ seventh round selection, 57th overall in the 2023 CFL Draft. He played four collegiate seasons (2019-2022) at Queen’s University. Primarily starting at left guard in 2022, Floren was part of a line that helped Queen’s finish second in the OUA in rushing at 239.3 yards per game and fourth with 227.3 passing yards per game. The Ontario native was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and a U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian following the 2022 season.

Thomas (five-foot-10, 218 pounds) was selected by the Roughriders in the seventh round, 60th overall, of the 2023 CFL Draft. He earned 107 total tackles over four seasons (2018-2022) as a University of Manitoba Bison. Over 24 career collegiate games he’s also added seven tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass deflections and two forced fumbles. He was named a U SPORTS and Canada West All-Star in 2021 after leading the Bisons in tackles (50). Thomas ranked second among linebackers in the bench press at the CFL Combine with 18.

The Roughriders have also signed wide receiver James Basalyga and fullback Morgan Runge. Both are Nationals.

Basalyga (five-foot-11, 188 pounds) spent four collegiate seasons at the University of Waterloo. In 28 games, the Thunder Bay, Ont. native registered 79 receptions for 1,309 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He also contributed on special teams, returning 26 punts for 232 yards. In 2022, Basalyga recorded 621 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in just seven games, the fourth and third best marks in the country, respectively. In 2021, Basalyga was named a Second-Team All-OUA All Star. He ran a 4.56 second 40-yard dash and logged a vertical of 39.5 inches, the third highest marks of all participants at the 2023 CFL Combine.

Runge (six-foot-one, 216 pounds) spent two collegiate seasons (2021-2022) at the University of Alberta. In 2021, Runge logged six catches for 43 yards and a touchdown and added three tackles. Prior to his time as a Golden Bear, Runge spent four seasons (2016-2019) with the Edmonton Huskies of the CJFL. In 22 games, the Alberta native recorded five rushes for 69 yards and one major, seven catches for 72 yards and excelled on special teams, where he logged 33 special teams tackles.

The Riders rounded out their Monday by announcing the signing of Bryan Cox Jr.

The six-foot-three, 270-pound defensive lineman joins the Green and White after six seasons in the NFL. The 28-year-old was signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft and played two seasons there. Cox went on to spend time with the Cleveland Browns (2019), the Buffalo Bills (2020-2021), and the Indianapolis Colts (2022). The Florida native saw action in 26 NFL games, recording 31 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, and one fumble recovery.

Cox played five collegiate seasons at the University of Florida. In 45 games, the former Gator logged 98 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one pass knockdown, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

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