Featured image taken by Frankie Benvenuti
Every year there is at least one player on each CFL team that surprises the entire league. It could be a receiver that goes over 1,000 yards, a running back that surpasses 100 yards consistently in games or even a linebacker that leads the team in tackles in a number of games, no matter what in this league there are players that sneak their ways into the spotlight and for the Ottawa Redblacks, heading into the 2021 CFL season it looks like there will be a lot of under the radar players sneaking their way into the spotlight as well but R-Nation should not be surprised when it happens.
Some big names on the offensive side of the ball to be sure to remember when August 7th comes around and you see them on the field once again would be offensive linemen Mark Korte and Nolan MacMillan, running back Timothy Flanders, quarterback Matt Nichols and pass catchers R.J Harris, Daniel Petermann, Michael Klukas and DeVonte Dedmon.
As for the defence, there are plenty of big time players ready to shine together in red and black come August 7th. Don Unamba, Sherrod Baltimore, Antoine Pruneau, Randall Evans, Abdul Kanneh and Gump Hayes each bring fire power to the defensive backfield while experienced CFL players Avery Williams, Micah Awe, Jerod Fernandez, Cleyon Laing, Davon Coleman and Avery Ellis fill the front seven.
The special teams unit in Ottawa remains the same from the 2019 CFL season and should always be looked at with a close eye considering both Lewis Ward and Richie Leone are a part of the best kicking duo in the CFL, adding DeVonte Dedmon to the mix only makes Bob Dyce’s job easier.
Each of the players named and more are already expected to have big seasons. They are coming into 2021 with an expanded role or have improved heavily this off-season, making them better for the team moving forward, however there are still a good number of spots to fill on the roster. There are a lot of young players coming into the CFL for the very first time or are new to the city of Ottawa that are ready to bring a spark to the team as soon as they possibly can and for some that could be the first game on August 7th at Edmonton. Some players ready to make that impact week one would be Anthony Coombs, Jerminic Smith, Ryan Davis, Praise Martin-Oguike, Na’Ty Rodgers, Kendrick Rogers, Jordan Smallwood, Ketel Asse, Brandin Dandridge, Brandon Hitner, Rafael Araujo-Lopes, Adam Auclair, Marcus Roberson, David Jones and Treshaun Abrahams-Webster. The group coming into Ottawa this season is extremely fresh and is the underdogs of the CFL having gone 3-15 in 2019 and signing very few big name players, making them even hungrier for the big wins to start the 2021 CFL season in Edmonton, then Saskatchewan and at home against B.C.