This off-season the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks have been by far the busiest team in the CFL. It has seemed as if every single day they have made a move to improve for the 2022 season. On Monday, the team made two more moves in addition to their busy off-season. They signed American wide receiver Byron Marshall and American defensive lineman Jhaustin Thomas.
Byron Marshall, a product of the University of Oregon is a dual threat, running back, receiver and kick returner. At 5-foot-9, 215 pounds he was the first player in PAC-12 history to record a season with 1,000 yards rushing and then 1,000 yards receiving. Over his time spent at Oregon as a running back, and then a receiver he had over 3,600 all-purpose yards and scored 27 touchdowns on 423 touches. He then played in 13 NFL games where he did similar things, playing a role as a backup running back and receiver as well as kick returner of the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. In those 13 games he gained 420 yards on 56 touches. With DeVonte Dedmon in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, it is expected that Marshall comes into Ottawa to battle for the return job and a dual threat offensive weapon alongside Terry Williams. Marshall likely comes in as a connection from Shawn Burke, as he was signed by the Hamilton Tiger Cats last off-season, and is actually the brother of former Tiger Cats running back Cameron Marshall.
Jhaustin Thomas also has Hamilton connections, having spent time on the Tiger cats practice squad in 2021 after playing the 2019 CFL season with the Toronto Argonauts. With Toronto, the 6-foot-6, 275 pound defensive lineman made 14 tackles and a sack. The 28 year old comes to Ottawa behind both Cleyon Laing and Davon Coleman at defensive tackle but might find himself a spot on the roster for 2022 if he has a good training camp.
The two signings on Monday aren’t major by any means, but they could be good in the long run. Fans should be excited to see what Byron Marshall has in store for the Redblacks. If he is anything near the kind of player he was at Oregon, it may be fun to watch him play with the bigger field at TD Place.