On Wednesday, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins worked out DeVonte Dedmon, a kickoff return specialist and offensive weapon from the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks. The workout was one of 6 he had in the NFL over the last couple of months, including those with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers, but the one with the Dolphins seemed to be the most successful, coming out of it with an official NFL contract.
This is no surprise that Dedmon got his shot in the NFL, as it has been something waiting since he got out of university, from William & Mary. The 5-foot-10, 205 pound receiver, running back and kickoff return specialist may just be the best player that has ever came through the Ottawa Redblacks facility. In just 16 games in red and black during both the 2019 and 2021 CFL seasons (2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19), Dedmon had eye catching 3,179 all-purpose yards and 6 touchdowns on 165 touches. With a mix between catches, rushes, punt returns, kickoff returns and missed field goal returns he averaged 19.26 yards per touch as well as 198.68 yards per game played. The numbers he put up were unheard of, and put him under a spotlight in Canada, winning the CFL’s most outstanding special teams player of the year award in 2021. He also broke a Redblacks franchise record in 2019 with 377 return yards in a single game and a CFL record as the fastest player in league history to reach 5 return touchdowns, doing so in just 15 games.
It is crystal clear that DeVonte Dedmon the football player is well deserving of the opportunity to suit up for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL, but what makes him even more deserving of the opportunity to live out his childhood dream of playing in the NFL is who he is off of the field. In a limited amount of time in Ottawa, only playing 16 games over a span of three years with the Redblacks, Dedmon became a fan favourite. Sure, what he did on the field had a big say in that but his personality, and the way he handles himself in a professional matter is second to none. He is and will continue to be one of the most humble athletes that has ever laced up the cleats, and because he may not be the loudest player when it comes to social media and his public appearance he is extremely underrated for the player he is as well as the person he is and will be off of the football field.
In 2021 the Miami Dolphins had both Jaylen Waddle and Jevon Holland taking the most part of kickoff and punt return reps. With both of them solidifying key spots to the team on offence and defence in their rookie years, it is very likely that we see Dedmon return kicks for the Dolphins in 2022 and show exactly what kind of player he can be in the NFL. There is a chance he can be featured on offence too. The Dolphins have DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins, Albert Wilson, Lynn Bowden, Preston Williams and Allen Hurns on their roster moving into the off-season, but after the off-season passes with the draft and free agency there is no saying who remains on the roster. Not a lot of players can offer the same skill sets as DeVonte Dedmon, having the ability to run the ball between the tackles extremely well and return 100+ yard kickoffs for touchdowns. It’s a very rare skill set. Be tuned in to see it on the big stage on Sundays with the Miami Dolphins.