REDBLACKS sign ’23 Draft class; add LS Blaise Barber
OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS announced on Tuesday that they have signed their 2023 CFL Draft class to rookie contracts.
The REDBLACKS now have all 10 of their 2023 picks from the CFL Draft under contract, along with both of their selections from the 2023 Global Draft. The team also announced on Tuesday that they’d signed National long snapper Blaise Barber.
Offensive lineman Dontae Bull, the first overall pick in last week’s CFL Draft, signed with the team on draft night. That signing came a few hours after defensive lineman Blessman Ta’ala had been chosen first overall in the Global Draft, then signed promptly after.
Bull (six-foot-seven, 320-pounds) started 27 of the 35 games he played for Fresno State, piling up experience at the left and right tackle spots. He’s been a key component of an explosive offensive line in that time.
In 2021, Fresno State finished with the top offence in the Mountain West conference and was the 14th-ranked offence in the FBS.
Last year, in Fresno State’s season-opening win over Cal Poly, the Bulldogs’ offence had 377 passing yards and 188 rushing yards. Bull started at right tackle in all seven of the Bulldogs’ games in 2022.
The REDBLACKS took Mount Allison defensive back Lucas Cormier 10th overall. The six-foot-two, 205-pounder from Sackville, N.B. had 59 solo tackles and 74.5 total through three seasons at Mount Allison, along with eight interceptions and eight pass breakups. He was a three-time AUS All-Star, Mount Allison’s rookie of the year in 2019, its MVP in 2021 and was a 2021 U SPORTS academic All-Canadian.
Two picks later in the second round, the REDBLACKS took Ottawa Gee-Gees linebacker James Peter. The five-foot-10, 220-pounder will get to stay in his hometown, after an impressive four-year showing at the University of Ottawa that saw him named a U SPORTS first-team All-Canadian and an OUA first-team All-Star in 2022. The Gee-Gees’ defensive MVP in 2022, Peter had 122.5 total tackles over those four seasons (95 solo), with two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup in 30 career games.
The REDBLACKS’ final pick of the second round came at 17th overall and was a territorial selection. The club chose Gee-Gees’ receiver Daniel Oladejo with that pick. Oladejo turned heads at the CFL Combine presented by New Era and was pegged by TSN’s Duane Forde as a value pick heading into the draft.
Oladejo (five-foot-10, 192 pounds) was named the Gee-Gee’s most outstanding offensive player in 2022 and was named an OUA second-team All-Star, after his 32-reception, 399-yard and three touchdown season. A two-time U SPORTS academic All-Canadian (2021, 2022), the six-foot, 190-pound Ottawa native has 781 career receiving yards and six touchdowns through 22 games.
Also signed on Tuesday were Saint Mary’s defensive lineman Aidan John (third round, 19th overall), Regina Rams linebacker Josh White (third round, 25th overall), Saskatchewan Huskies receiver Daniel Perry (fifth round, 37th overall), Charleston Southern Buccaneers defensive lineman Quintin Seguin (sixth round, 46th overall), St. Francis Xavier X-Men d-lineman Alexander Fedchun (seventh round, 55th overall) and Ottawa Gee-Gees’ running back Amlicar Polk (seventh round, 58th overall).
The REDBLACKS open their 2023 rookie camp on Thursday, May 11, before hitting the field for the beginning of training camp on Sunday, May 14.