This past CFL season, the Ottawa Redblacks went 3-15 and were at an all-time low, although there were multiple players on the team proving that the team shouldn’t have been where they were in the standings. Sure they only won 3 games, and you’re saying that they deserved to be last place although, there were too many bright spots to take away from last year.
In 2019, the Ottawa Redblacks didn’t get into the playoffs like they usually do, although they could have found a few players to stick with them for the next couple of years. Some played with the team last season, and the team brought in some players prior to free agency who can make an impact quickly.
Last season, the Ottawa Redblacks discovered DeVonte Dedmon. Dedmon played the first pre-season game with the team, where he shook all of TD Place on a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, along with a 38 yard catch and run at his desired position of wide receiver. Unfortunately, Dedmon was also injured in that game which sat him out until July 19th when the Ottawa Redblacks brought him back to play for the team.
After Dedmon was brought back to Ottawa, he was put into the lineup as soon as possible, where he was able to fill the hole at the returning position. In his first game vs Winnipeg in week 6, he gained over 190 return yards, and showed Redblacks fans and coaches what he was all about. The next week, Dedmon had his first reception worth 12 yards and then shook the whole league with his returning ability on a road trip to Montreal.
Just 2 games into his CFL career, Dedmon woke up Redblacks fans with a monster game. He returned kicks for an Ottawa franchise record 377 yards along with 2 touchdowns. With this game, he was put onto ESPN and TSN top plays for months and secured a spot on the team for another while.
Although he was found on the TV quite a bit for highlights, Dedmon missed some significant time with injuries. Following his monster performance in Montreal on August 2nd, he was only dressed to play twice more in the season. Dedmon finished the season with 939 all-purpose yards on just 42 touches which sent him to 22.5 yards/touch.
Many of you whine because we don’t have Diontae Spencer with us, but DeVonte Dedmon has the potential to make you jump out of your seat every time he gets the ball, so Dedmon, sitting at just 24 years old could be the Redblacks top guy at receiver in the next couple of years.
Yes, we all know John Crockett from last season, and of course him throwing up against Winnipeg in his CFL debut, but there’s more to Crockett than that. John Crockett comes to Ottawa after jumping through NFL teams and testing out the AAF in a span of 5 years.
Through his professional career, the 27 year old has been able to find himself a part of some legendary company like the time he spent in the same backfield as future NFL hall of famer Aaron Rodgers. Although it seems like he did a lot in the NFL jumping from team to team, his CFL stint here in Ottawa could be the best time of his football career.
The Redblacks lost William Powell to free agency a year ago, and found themselves n trouble finding the right runningback to replace him, but after a little bit of time the team found Crockett to be the future. They started the season off with Mossis Madu who had over 600 all-purpose yards while Crockett filled in for the other half of the season gaining over 500 yards.
At just 27 years old, Crockett has started just 6 games this past season as a rookie in the CFL, and will obtain the starting role in Ottawa where he can put together a career year.
De’Chavon ‘Gump’ Hayes + DeAndre Farris
This past CFL season, the Ottawa Redblacks took a beating by injuries, and were forced to pick up players to fill the holes on the roster. Among all injuries, the defensive back position was hit the hardest by the injury bug, and the relacements that Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins brought in were fantastic.
The most notable defensive backs from last season were Corey Tindal, Randall Evans, Sherrod Baltimore and Chris Randle, but there was a pair of young guys that brought light to the secondary also.
When they needed to stop a big play, they were there, when they needed a turnover they were there, both DeAndre Farris and De’Chavon Hayes created 4 interceptions as a pair along with 67 total tackles. The main reason they came to play last year was because of the injury trouble the team faced with Jonathan Rose.
Rose only played 3 games last season, and by the looks of it he will have a short season once again. Just weeks ago, Jonathan Rose went in for neck surgery to fix an injury he had last season. With this news it looks as if the two Farris and Hayes will be given expanded roles on the Redblacks defense and from their performances last season, the Redblacks are in good hands.
In last year’s free agency period in the CFL, the Ottawa Redblacks lost some key components on the team which includes both Greg Ellingson and Diontae Spencer. After losing those two big names, the Ottawa Redblacks weren’t quite sure who they’d have at the receiver position. The team was held with just RJ Harris, Dominique Rhymes and Caleb Holley starting at the spot. Out of the 3, Rhymes was the only one to play the majority of the season with 17 games and was the only one to get over 1,000 yards.
Along the group, Harris was able to get over 700 in just 14 games, as he battled injuries for the length of the season, but in the back on the group was Jerminic Smith. Smith played just 2 games with the Redblacks, but when he was needed he performed. In the two games played Smith showed what he was all about, catching 8 passes for 87 yards, and showed that he could be a great piece of the Redblacks future.
Smith is also just 23 years old, so keep your eyes on him this season.
Prior to CFL free agency, the Ottawa Redblacks went out to get a large group of players to play for the 2020 team. In free agency, the team is set to have both Caleb Holley and Dominique Rhymes test the market which brings a need for the receiver position, although the team already has a good group at the position.
Just before Christmas, the Ottawa Redblacks came together on contracts with a long list of players and one of them was Justin Hobbs. Hobbs is a 6’4 receiver from the University of Tulsa. He hasn’t had any opportunities on the professional level, although his time at Tulsa explains exactly why he is a good fit for this Redblacks team.
The 23 year old played 4 seasons at Tulsa, where he used his physical appearance as an advantage gaining over 2,500 yards and 12 total touchdowns.
If Hobbs can use his big body like Dominique Rhymes did in Ottawa, he can be a top target in the CFL at the receiver position.