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“I see this being a premier company in sports by the end of 2021.” co-founder of Personal Corner Dan McCreesh beyond excited to help grow with Dez Bryant

“Romo drops back… looking to his right… he finds Dez Bryant in the end zone… what a catch, touchdown Dallas.”

For many, when the name Dez Bryant comes up they think of a football player and what comes to mind first is a picture of him wearing his NFL Dallas Cowboys uniform, but for Dan McCreesh that isn’t all that comes to mind when he hears the name. Making a name for himself in navy blue and silver, Bryant caught 909 passes with the Cowboys over 113 regular season games, gaining a total 7,459 yards and scoring 73 touchdowns in the air and McCreesh knows all about it. He was a New York Giants fan growing up in South Plainfield, New Jersey but after hearing from the star NFL receiver just under two weeks ago in his Instagram direct messages McCreesh now thinks of a lot more than just a football player when the name Dez Bryant comes up.

McCreesh, who is from New Jersey and has found himself in the business side of sports for a few years now since he and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams formerly launched a data analytics startup together in Simatree. Jay Williams is one of the main pioneers of leading the Sports/Business intersection – as a former host of “The Boardroom”. So McCreesh has quite the pedigree so far of strategically positioning himself within the right lanes in this Sports x Business ecosystem, now being able to work with more athletes and brand exposures including Dez Bryant. Bryant reached out to McCreesh just under two weeks ago through Instagram, writing in a direct message “Yo what’s your number?” Getting this message got him excited to see what was in store with he and Bryant. They later connected on a Zoom where Bryant informed him that he’d like for him to be flown to Dallas the very next day however his wife was in a wedding the next day so he had to arrange his flight to Dallas after the wedding. It’s not every day that you have an NFL great messaging you to fly to him and work together so McCreesh jumped on the opportunity, come to realize that Dez Bryant had been working on the company he is getting Dan McCreesh’s help with for over two years.

That company is Personal Corner, a company for athletes, by athletes that gives athletes of all levels, high school, college and professional the opportunity to not only be the athlete they dream of being on the field, on the court, in the ring, in the water or on the ice but also the influencer and entrepreneur they dream of being outside of sports. It has been something that Bryant has visioned for some time now, having worked on the vision for years now but with the rule change in the NCAA, and athletes of all levels now allowed to profit off of their name, image and likeness its as of recently that he has taken full action on putting everything he has worked on out to the public and doing so the right way. Being able to do it the right way, on social media and in business Dez Bryant has Dan McCreesh helping out as a co-founder. McCreesh flew to Dallas following his encounter with Bryant on Instagram and mentioned in an interview with JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “He’s been building this for over 2 years. Nobody really knew that. I didn’t know that before I came to Dallas and when he rolled out the technology platform to me it was mind-blowing. He has put. a lot of time, energy and resources into this, he just needed the guy to lead it and thats where I come in.” McCreesh continued, “The platform is outstanding.”

Along with both Dez Bryant and Dan McCreesh who are each found at the top of the Personal Corner name brand, there are about a dozen others working on the development of the company, and soon to be more as Bryant gets busy with his 10th NFL season. McCreesh says, “The timing of me coming on board with this is all great because Dez has been training for football and will be on an NFL team this season so he won’t be able to do as much as he has done recently with the company. There is about 15-16 of us on the team right now but we are planning on doing a hiring day soon where we’ll be acquiring another 40 so people.” Unlike other companies out there, Personal Corner didn’t start out with hundreds of employees with the same vision. For the longest time it has been Dez Bryant and Dez Bryant alone, but with McCreesh and others involved now, it could benefit the company moving forward to attack on not only one or two different visions that Bryant may have but several visions from the entire team. McCreesh’s vision behind Personal Corner and everything else he does in the business side of sports, finishing Jerry Maguire’s story. “I think I want to relate this as much to finishing Jerry Maguire’s story as possible. He believed in doing right by the athlete, and he left a big firm to follow that vision, I don’t mean to talk down the agent because it is very much a hustle but I think doing right and adding value to the player is the creme and we have the opportunity to partner with the agents and agencies, there’s the opportunity to partner with the brands, there’s the opportunity to intersect and integrate fans, players and brands together under one roof where they are all under one ecosystem, we are creating an athlete community and that athlete community will be unmatched given the opportunity to build brands and build behind those brands for athletes of all levels.”

The athlete community that both Dez Bryant and Daniel McCreesh have each helped build the base of at Personal Corner is unmatched, one reason being is the work ethic and passion behind those a part of it all. As a co-founder, McCreesh shows his passion for finishing that Jerry Maguire movie storyline, not as an agent representing Rod Tidwell but as a sports business man at Personal Corner with Dez Bryant and Bryant himself has showed his passion throughout his entire football career, beginning with his time at Oklahoma State University and being drafted 24th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft. His passion hasn’t always been viewed as a positive attribute on NFL sidelines, however it is something that is needed in this day and age. Passion is everything in everything you do, and Bryant has shown passion in Personal Corner, like he has with his football career he has invested a lot of time and money, close to one and a half million dollars already according to his social media posts and if he has the passion towards the company, has invested time and money towards it and a lot of it, the sky is the limit for Personal Corner and the vision attached to it for each individual involved. When asked about his expectations for the company McCreesh told Zlomislic of JZ Media, “This is going to sound crazy but I see this being one of the premier companies in sports by the end of 2021. I would like to see the world find more ways to collaborate than to push back against. We are willing to work with everybody and anybody that can benefit from what we have started and that we can potentially benefit from too. That is where I see us separating from other people that have visions of helping athletes because a lot of people shy away from opportunities of working with other people.”

Bryant added, reading the article, “Sooner than that.” meaning he believes the company will reach that status in sports even sooner than the end of the year.

Unlike other companies out there, Personal Corner has been able to do the dirty work, networking with athletes and brands out there and actually want to network and benefit athletes out there. The slogan is “for athletes, by athletes” not “for the company to make money, by business men” for a reason and that is something Dez Bryant has capitalized on, being able to do a lot of work himself, even the networking which could be difficult for many to do. “We’ve put our money where our mouth is, especially Dez. He has been amazing to work with and he is a great leader for this company. Dez has no problem reaching out to people, he’s actually one of the best networkers that I’ve ever met which is extremely hard to find in the pro sports world but its a main reason why I am doing what I am with him and it is cool to see his brand evolve because Dez 3.0 is here and he is going to be the revolutionizer and the person that gives the power back to the players. It’s going to be exciting to be a part of that train.”

That train that McCreesh is on with Bryant is going full steam ahead and is ready to take over the entire sports industry for the athlete’s benefits. See everything Personal Corner related on social media NOW and be sure to watch the brand grow into an entire lifestyle for many.

Ottawa’s Tunde Adeleke and Jackson Bennett to represent 613 in 108th Grey Cup with Hamilton Tiger Cats

On Sunday December 12th, at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, Ontario, the biggest game in Canadian football will be played between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After a full 2020 calendar year without football, the 108th Grey Cup will finally be played, and will be played with a hint of Ottawa football. Set to suit up in Black and Yellow is Jackson Bennett and Tunde Adeleke, representing the city of Ottawa on the big stage for the second consecutive CFL season.

Tiger-Cats running back Jackson Bennett was born and raised on the east side of Ottawa, having went to Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School, and played Cumberland Panthers Football while training with Joey Kwasniewski and Titan Performance. He stayed local, played for the University of Ottawa where he lined up as a defensive back and linebacker for 3 of the 4 seasons he spent with the program. Over 23 games played for the Garnet and Grey, Bennett made 89 solo tackles, 1 sack, intercepted three passes, including one pick six and returned kicks, 2 for touchdowns. The NFL’s New York Giants had him try out in the spring of 2018 after he was drafted by the Tiger-Cats in the 2nd round of the 2018 CFL Draft. Unfortunately he did not make it into the NFL, but has been showcasing his athleticism in every opportunity in the CFL since. Bennett was drafted as a defensive back and linebacker for the Tiger-Cats, where he made 3 defensive tackles, 8 special teams tackles, and a sack in his rookie year in the CFL but slowly transitioned into an offensive role, returning 7 kicks for 155 yards in the 2018 CFL season, then getting 37 offensive touches in 2019 which he turned into 219 yards and a score. The same year, Bennett still made 10 tackles and forced a fumble on special teams, and now for the 2021 CFL season as a running back and contributor on special teams he had 102 yards of offence on 22 touches and made 4 special teams tackles.

Defensive back Tunde Adeleke, who almost put the game on ice on Sunday against the Argonauts with his interception which was later called back as an incompletion, also lived in the Ottawa area growing up. He was born in Nigeria, and moved to Canada during his childhood where he went on to attend St Francis Xavier High School in the nation’s capital, then made his way to Carleton University in Ottawa. As a Carleton Raven, Adeleke made a splash on both the defensive side of the ball and on special teams as a returner, returning a 129 yard missed field goal for a score in his time with the Ravens. He was drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the third round of the 2017 CFL Draft and played two seasons with the Stampeders. In 30 games with Calgary, Adeleke made 45 tackles on defence, 2 sacks, forced two fumbles, scored one touchdown and then made an additional 24 special teams tackles. Adeleke was then signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he has been a star for back to back seasons. A part of the 2019 defence which went to the Grey Cup he made 52 tackles and 2 interceptions, being named a CFL All-Star, and this season he made 44 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions in just 14 games, being named an All-Star once again. In the playoff run, thus far Adeleke has made 14 tackles over the two games and is ready to perform at home for the Grey Cup against Winnipeg.

The Grey Cup will be played at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton at 6:00 on Sunday December 12th. Watch both Adeleke and Bennett represent their home town in the big game on TSN.

The start of a new era; Montreal’s Edwin Wilson Tara-Kolenge puts on Boston College Eagles jersey for first time

On Saturday, during his official visit at Boston College, after committing to play for the Eagles back in June, 7 months later Edwin Wilson Tara-Kolenge put on a Boston College football jersey for the first time. Tara-Kolenge, who is a Montreal, Quebec-raised linebacker has spent the past two years in the United States, 2020 in Florida with the Clearwater Academy International Knights, coached by the well known Jesse Chinchar and this year at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. This year at Loomis Chaffee, Tara-Kolenge played in 10 games, making 86 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, and forced 9 turnovers, 5 fumbles and 4 interceptions, including a pick six.

He has always lived up to the hype on the football field, and deserves all of the success coming his way as he goes into the next stop in his journey, at Boston College because of all of what he does off of the field. Tara-Kolenge has worked extremely hard to get to where he is athletically, but he’s also been a great student as well, putting emphasis on the term “student athlete”.

You now get your first looks at 6-foot-3, 225 pound linebacker Edwin Wilson Tara-Kolenge in a Boston College uniform, but it will be a picture you will get used to seeing over the next 3 or 4 years as he is ready to take over the world as a football player.

Ottawa brothers Alex and Luiji Vilain set to play in championship games across the border on Saturday

In today’s day and age, you can turn on the television on Sunday to watch your weekly dose of NFL football and do so seeing Canadian players playing regularly. During the 2021-22 NFL season we have already seen Canadians Chase Claypool, Chuba Hubbard, Jevon Holland, Benjamin St Juste, Christian Covington, Tevaughn Campbell and Joshua Palmer each make large impacts for their respective NFL teams alongside other Canadians and that trend will only continue through the remainder of the season.

With 6 weeks of NFL regular season football left in the year, expect to see a lot more Canadians making plays on the big stage, but not only this year but moving forward as well. In the 2022 NFL Draft, which is expected to take place at the end of April 2022 we are going to see even more Canadians enter the NFL including a number of players from the nation’s capital, Ottawa. Among the Ottawa-raised players eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft is Wake Forest’s Luiji Vilain who is to play in the ACC Championship on Saturday with the Demon Deacons as they kickoff against the Pitt Panthers.

Vilain is originally from the east-end of Ottawa where he began playing football and trained with Victor Tedondo at Gridiron Academy. He starred at a young age on the football field, opening the opportunity to take his talents across the border, eventually playing football and attending school at Episcopal High School in Virginia alongside other Gridiron Academy members Patrice Rene, Jonathan Sutherland, and Chris Fournier who are all eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft as well. Luiji Vilain made a name for himself at Episcopal like the other Ottawa athletes that came there with him. He was listed as a 4-star recruit, was selected to play in the 2017 Under Armour All-American game and was ranked as the third overall player in the entire state of Virginia by 247Sports. Those acknowledgements led to a number of division one offers, including one from Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines where Vilain went from the 2017 season through the 2020 season. Unfortunately things didn’t work out perfectly for him at Michigan, having suffered injuries throughout his career with the Wolverines, but he received his degree from Michigan University in 2021 and entered the transfer portal, becoming a Wake Forest Demon Deacon in late January.

Over the 2021 season with Wake Forest, Vilain has had a breakout campaign. Starting the season with a 2 tackle performance against Old Dominion, then beginning a streak of 4 consecutive games with a sack, making 3 sacks since, in the 12 games he played with Wake Forest he has been a part of 8 sacks while making a total 31 tackles, forcing and recovering a fumble and breaking up a pass. The 6-foot-4, 252 pound edge rusher will be playing in the 2021 ACC Championship on Saturday December 4th against the Pittsburgh University Panthers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both teams finished the regular season with a 10-2 record and are each ranked in the top 25, Wake Forest at 10 and Pitt at 15, making it a must watch game for all football fans, however for family of Luiji Vilain it may not be easy to watch the entire game.

The ACC Championship game will start at 8:00 eastern, and will be televised, so access to the game shouldn’t be a problem, but the 8:00 start time will be mid-way through the Clearwater Academy International vs IMG Academy Florida independent State Championship which starts at 7:00. For most people, that sounds like a random high school football game in Florida, but for the Vilain family it is a very big game, just like the ACC Championship, because Luiji Vilain’s younger brother Alex Vilain will be playing wide receiver on Saturday for the Clearwater Academy International Knights.

Alex Vilain is in his senior season at Clearwater Academy International in Florida, and after starting his football journey in Ottawa with the Cumberland Panthers, North Gloucester Giants and St. Matthew High School Tigers, being coached by Coach Jean Guillaume and trained by Iseah Montgiraud of Limitless Era, Vilain has 160 yards and two touchdowns to his name over the two regular seasons he’s played in Florida. At 6-foot-1,185 pounds, Alex Vilain sticks out with his speed, route running and ability to use his body against the opposing defensive back. He is able to go up and get the 50/50 ball, something that he will be expected to do at the next level, but before then he will have to play his final high school football game on Saturday.

He and his Clearwater Academy International Knights, who feature a list of Canadian athletes on the roster, including Alabama commit Isaiah Hastings, will be kicking off at 7:00 against IMG Academy’s white team in the Florida Independent State Championship. The game will be available to watch live on YouTube, so tune into Alex Vilain and the CAI Knights while you get ready to watch big brother Luiji Vilain and Wake Forest.

Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Kenny Stafford’s 2021 CFL season highlight reel

After being signed by the Ottawa Redblacks mid way through the 2021 CFL season, 31 year old veteran CFL receiver Kenny Stafford caught 17 passes for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Watch his 2021 CFL season highlights below:

Looking back at the Ottawa Redblacks 2021 CFL season; who led the passing attack?

The 2021 CFL season didn’t quite go as planned for the Ottawa Redblacks. Going into the season, the Redblacks, like every other team in the CFL had all eyes on playing the Grey Cup in Hamilton on December 12th. Instead, they went 3 and 11 and will not play again until the 2022 CFL season, finishing their 2021 season on November 19th in Montreal, but even though they didn’t make it far, the Ottawa Redblacks were able to find some key pieces for the 2022 CFL season and beyond.

Among those pieces, and leading the pack for the Redblacks during the back half of the 2021 CFL season is Caleb Evans. The 23 year old rookie quarterback came into his first professional game on September 28th against the Edmonton Elks at TD Place where he put the entire league on notice, throwing for 191 yards, running for an additional 59 yards and scoring three touchdowns through the air in what was the Redblacks second of three wins on the season. He then went on to complete 108 of 182 passing attempts in 7 starts for 1,279 yards with a 5:9 touchdown to interception ratio and 345 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Evans finished the 2021 CFL season strong, going back to back starts without throwing an interception to close out the season and winning the season finale against the Montreal Alouettes with 229 yards of offence, 2 rushing touchdowns and two 2-point conversions to receiver RJ Harris but he wasn’t able to accomplish everything he did on his own.

There were a number of players on the Ottawa Redblacks offence that helped Caleb Evans and other quarterbacks Matt Nichols, Dominique Davis and Devlin Hodges put points on the board during the 2021 CFL season. Up front, on the offensive line, although there were struggles, giving up a league lead 53 sacks on the season, all of the positives that came out of the 2021 season would not be possible without offensive lineman Mark Korte. Korte missed just one of the 14 games during the 2021 CFL season and played nearly every single position on the Ottawa Redblacks offensive line over the span of the season. With 48 games under his belt over the three seasons he’s been with the Redblacks, there is no doubt that he is a must re-sign player for the Ottawa Redblacks this off-season as he is a pending free agent alongside other proven lineman Nolan MacMillan.

From the backfield, standing right next to the quarterback before every play is the running back. For the Ottawa Redblacks, there wasn’t one running back that made a huge impact for the team in the running game, simply because the offensive line was never 100% healthy and the Redblacks rarely were in situations to run the ball consistently, so the running backs were often put in the position to pass block and go out to catch the ball as a receiver. Over the 2021 season the Redblacks saw Timothy Flanders, Justin Davis and De’Lance Turner start games for the team, and of all of the running backs it is Flanders that made the largest impact in the passing attack. It wasn’t because he caught 100 passes or anything crazy like that, but because Timothy Flanders consistently provided his pass blocking abilities to the Redblacks offence, which, in a year where the offensive line struggled came in to play a big role in the offence. Flanders also caught for 168 yards and a touchdown in the games he played, including a 39 yard screen pass on the final drive of the 2021 CFL season which set up the game winning score against the Alouettes.

Then at receiver, there wasn’t just one player that helped Evans and the Ottawa Redblacks quarterbacks, but it was more of the entire receiving core that did so.

R.J Harris, in his third season as an Ottawa Redblacks receiver took on more of a primary role in the Redblacks offence, leading the pack with 595 receiving yards on 46 catches. He also added two 2-point conversion catches in the season finale to his totals. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Davis, after setting the record at Auburn University for most receptions in a collegiate career with 178 caught a team lead 55 passes for 589 yards and 2 touchdowns. Davis also had 43 rushing yards and 481 return yards, giving him 1,113 yards all-purpose as a rookie, awarding him the Redblacks rookie of the year award. Canadian receiver Nate Behar, from Carleton University in Ottawa had his biggest season of his CFL career, having a career high 38 catches for 439 receiving yards. Behar now has 81 catches for 865 yards and a score in his 61 games in the CFL over the 4 seasons he’s played with both Edmonton and Ottawa.

Kenny Stafford, who came in mid way through the 2021 CFL season by the Ottawa Redblacks, although he’s not talked about heavily made a large impact in the Redblacks offence. He, a 31 year old, 8 season CFL veteran brought a much needed veteran presence to the Ottawa offence, and not only did he help lead the group with the players around him, but he excelled with them as well. He wasn’t thrown the ball a lot as if he was the number one target in the offence, but when targeted he was efficient, catching 17 passes for 242 yards and 3 scores in the 8 games he played with the Redblacks.

The four leading receivers for the Ottawa Redblacks combined for a total 156 catches, 1,865 yards, 5 touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. They aren’t flashy numbers by any means, but the group made a big enough impact to help rookie quarterback Caleb Evans develop and grow into the quarterback we will see in 2022.

When the Ottawa Redblacks are back in 2022, the offence could look very different though, Stafford, Harris and Behar are all pending free agents. Ryan Davis, and Jordan Smallwood are under contract though, two receivers that spent their rookie CFL seasons with Ottawa in 2021, and the Redblacks are expected to go after a number one receiver in free agency. If the three pending free agents are extended, both Smallwood and Davis remain in the nation’s capital and the Redblacks bring in a number one receiver as well as a ratio breaking Canadian receiver, the Ottawa Redblacks offence could be one of the best in the CFL with dual threat quarterback Caleb Evans.

Those ifs will only be answered with time though, the CFL’s 2021 season will officially wrap up on December 12th in Hamilton with the 108th Grey Cup. After that it will be the off-season, an off-season full of big decisions for the Ottawa Redblacks. Stay tuned.

John Metchie headlines group of Canadians making plays down south with game winning catch in Iron Bowl

Prior to the 2021 NCAA Football season, ESPN’s Mel Kiper named Alabama Crimson Tide receiver John Metchie, who is originally from Brampton, Ontario the 21st best player in the 2022 NFL Draft class and with the regular season officially wrapped up for the NCAA, Metchie was able to live up tp the hype. Over the 2021 regular season the Canadian caught 90 passes for 1,045 yards and 7 touchdowns, and he finished the year off strong on Saturday in the 86th annual Iron Bowl between the Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.

Against Auburn Metchie caught 13 passes, a career high for 150 yards. While he did not score a touchdown on the outing, he did indeed catch two 2-point conversions in overtime, including the game winning 2-point score on an incredible bang route which has been seen across the internet already, but he’s not the only Canadian getting praise on the south side of the Canada-USA border.

Among the Canadians that made their respective impacts in the final week of regular season NCAA football was Ottawa defensive end Luiji Vilain who made 4 tackles and 2 sacks for Wake Forest in a win over Boston College, putting them into the ACC Championship against Pittsburgh. Vilain has 31 tackles and 7 sacks on the season. North Carolina State defensive tackle Daniel Joseph made 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks in their 34-30 win over UNC, giving him 36 tackles, 6 sacks and a forced fumble in his senior season. Akeem Mesidor, Ottawa-native for the West Virginia Mountaineers made 5 tackles and a sack in his final regular season game of his sophomore season in which he had a total 4.5 sacks, putting himself in 10 sacks over his two seasons with WVU coming out of Clearwater Academy International in Florida. Running back Chase Brown, originally from London, Ontario ran for 112 yards and a score on 14 carries with Illinois on Saturday, giving him 1,005 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. With 142 receiving yards also to his name, in the 10 games played in 2021 Brown has averaged 114.7 yards. His brother Sydney Brown also made quite the impact for Illinois, making 6 tackles in the season finale and a total 69 tackles, sack, two forced fumbles and three pass deflections over the season.

Also making a difference for his team was Jesse Luketa, the Ottawa-native is set to play in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl and is on the Dick Butkus Award watchlist for what he’s done with Penn State. During his senior season Luketa made 52 tackles, a sack and had one pick six, of those stats 4 tackles and 2 tackles for loss came in Saturday’s regular season finale.

There are other Canadians that have made big plays of their own over the 2021 regular season who will be talked about once the season is officially wrapped up, bowl games included, but now is the time to look forward to NCAA bowl season!

Next weekend there will be conference championships, and followed by that will be the bowl games, where you’ll be able to see more Canadian content.

“Its different.” former football player Darnell Thompson goes into detail with his brand, “Zero Dollars”

When you put your clothes on in the morning, is there a reason for why you chose the clothes that you did?

Sure, a lot of the time the clothes that you put on in the morning are for something specific, like work, a date, or maybe a family get together and you can’t necessarily go all out with your outfit, but there is typically a reason why you are wearing what you are wearing. Whether its a Spongebob Squarepants tee shirt because you loved the TV show growing up, a shirt with a message you live by, a Dez Bryant jersey because he’s the reason why you love football or maybe its just a simple white shirt you are wearing because it has your friend’s company logo on it, there was something behind your decision to wear your outfit on every day, at least there should have been.

Nowadays, in society many people are just wearing clothes to “fit in”, to “be cool” or “for a trend”. Companies like Champion, Supreme, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Stussy and A Breathing Ape have made a lot of money off of teenagers and young adults in this specific area, which in consideration is extremely sad, but with companies like Zero Dollars now on the horizon, things are subject to change in the fashion industry.

Zero Dollars is a clothing brand owned by former professional football player Darnell Thompson.

Thompson, who is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina went to three high schools in North Carolina, Wakefield High School, Millbrook High School and Wakefield High School. He played both football and basketball growing up, but mainly starred as a football player, in which he went onto play at the collegiate level as. In 2014 he played at Highland Community College in Kansas where he made 13 tackles, 1 sack and recovered two fumbles before committing to play at Colarado State University, a decision he made over a number of other NCAA division one programs like Appalachian State, Buffalo, Fresno State and Purdue. At Colorado State, with the Rams, Darnell Thompson played in 31 games over 3 seasons where he made a total 66 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and had two pass deflections. Unfortunately Thompson did not get drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. He found himself going the entire 2018 NFL season without an opportunity to play football and was the signed by the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders where he spent time in 2019.

He later got released by the Stampeders and says he’s been “hitting and running ever since.”

By that, Thompson is referring to the work he has done surrounding his company, Zero Dollars which is based off of the message, “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself.”

When asked about the message, and his company, Darnell Thompson told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “Its a really authentic quote.” and continued, “I feel like there’s a lot of quotes out there that are made up but if you say it takes zero dollars to be yourself, it really does take nothing to just be you in the world that we live in, so when I created it I was actually working in a hostpital and I remember I called my friend at like 3-o’clock in the morning and was like, ‘I’m going to trademark that quote’ and I did. It took me like a year to get through the whole process of it getting trademarked but it really just came up to me because my whole idea with it was the authentic part and being real to yourself in the society we live in.”

More on his decision on the certain quote, he told Zlomislic, “When I was a kid I was diagnosed with crohns disease and I was in the hospital a lot, and when you’re in the hospital, there are a lot of sick kids around you that have very little left to live but still have pure joy. They could be dying, maybe have a day or two left to live but at the end of the day they are happy, its a part of their personality to be joyful and when you have joy, nothing can take that away.” Thompson explained, “that taught me that even at your lowest times, being yourself can make a difference, and in my life I had my most fun, met the best people when I had nothing in my life.” he said, “It really showed me that you don’t really need money. Yes you need it to live but money isn’t needed for you to be you. Money should never change you. If money changes someone around me, I don’t want to be around them because they are fake.”

Putting the quote “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself.” and a logo inspired by the art work of Jean-Michael Basquiat on quality clothing, Darnell Thompson is giving people a reason to wear his clothing. When people put on their Zero Dollars clothes in the morning and have it on throughout the day, they can be themselves, and look good doing so. Among the people wearing Zero Dollars thus far include NFL players Michael Gallup of the Dallas Cowboys, Reece Fountain of the Kansas City Chiefs and Richie James of the San Fransisco 49ers as well as NBA player of the Indiana Pacers Myles Turner. The vision, and the message has touched many people with these star athletes wearing the brand on the big stage. For Thompson, it means a lot to him to see that, to see the support for Zero Dollars.

“It feels good.” Thompson said when asked about people wearing his brand, “To have the support means a lot because there are a lot of people out there that say that they’ll support you, but never do so those that do, when I see it and I see them wearing my company it feels so good.”

From his time spent playing football to today where he has built himself a clothing brand, Darnell Thompson has always succeeded and gave reason for people to keep eyes on him. There shouldn’t be a reason to look away from what he is doing with “Zero Dollars”, as everything he is doing with his company is for the good. The goal of spreading a powerful message and delivering top quality clothing to those around the world shouldn’t be something taken lightly by people around the world. Instead of going with a trend, or going with some clothing items that help you fit in, stick out and wear Zero Dollars’ “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself” clothing.

For more on Darnell Thompson and his clothing brand visit the links below:

https://www.zerodollars.org

https://www.instagram.com/zero.dollars/

Ottawa Redblacks’ Grey Cup win reaches 5 year anniversary

5 years ago today the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks beat the Calgary Stampeders in the 104th Grey Cup. Henry Burris and the Redblacks, after going 2-16 in their first year of existence made their way to the Grey Cup with an 8-9-1 regular season record against the 15-2-1 Calgary Stampeders.

The historic game ended in overtime at BMO Field in Toronto, with the Redblacks finishing on top 39-33 from a beautiful Ernest Jackson overtime score.

To reminisce and re-watch the 104th Grey Cup click the YouTube link below!

Looking into the future; should Caleb Evans be the starting quarterback of the Ottawa Redblacks in 2022?

The Ottawa Redblacks won just 3 games over the 2021 CFL season, and have gone 6-26 since they lost the 106th Grey Cup to the Calgary Stampeders in Edmonton. It has been a very disappointing two seasons for R-Nation to witness, but there is plenty of hope for the Ottawa Redblacks moving forward, there are just some big decisions to be made by the front office to make the most of what they have in front of them.

8 minute 2021 CFL season highlight tape of Caleb Evans

Among those decisions would come at the quarterback position, where the Ottawa Redblacks have had struggles since Trevor Harris’ departure in the 2018-19 off-season. In 2019 Dominique Davis, Jonathon Jennings and Will Arndt each found themselves starting games for Ottawa, and in 2021 Matt Nichols, Dominique Davis, Caleb Evans and Devlin Hodges started games but out of all of the six different quarterbacks that started games for the Ottawa Redblacks over the two seasons, Caleb Evans, a 23 year old rookie quarterback seemed to leave the biggest impact for the Redblacks and is now giving the front office a big decision to make, whether or not he should be the starting quarterback moving forward with the team.

Evans came to Ottawa in July for his first ever professional football opportunity. At the time he was 22 years old and fresh out of the University of Louisiana Monroe, was among Matt Nichols, Dominique Davis, and Taryn Christion for Ottawa Redblacks training camp and was set to spend the 2021 CFL season as a third string quarterback, learning the ropes from two veterans quarterbacks, head coach Paul LaPolice and quarterbacks coach Steve Walsh. Over the 14 game regular season, Caleb Evans did get the chance to learn and develop, however he was placed in a situation to develop even faster midway through the season. After a game against the Hamilton Tiger Cats in week 8 where both Matt Nichols and Dominique Davis suffered injuries, a game that finished with receiver Nate Behar taking reps at quarterback, Caleb Evans was named the starting quarterback of the Ottawa Redblacks. He started his first game against the Edmonton Elks at TD Place in Ottawa on September 28th where he completed 15 of 22 passes for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns, even running for 59 additional yards on 7 rushing attempts, leading the Redblacks to victory. Evans was the talk of the CFL, having been named the CFL’s performer of the week and getting the name ‘Mr. Tuesday night’ after his incredible CFL debut and although he may not have performed exactly like that every time he went out to play for the Redblacks, Evans still impressed many with what he was able to accomplish in his first taste of professional football.

Over the 7 starts, Evans completed 108 of 182 passes for 1,279 yards and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 5:9. He added 345 rushing yards and 3 scores on the ground on 42 rushing attempts, averaging 8.3 yards each time he took off. Of the seven starts, he won the first and last one he played in, going 2-5 as a starter but he showed a lot of promise and brought a lot of bright spots to the Ottawa Redblacks offence, as you can see from the numbers he put up.

Those numbers he put up, were very similar to those he had at the university level with the ULM Warhawks. Those numbers, over 3 seasons and change as a starter included 9,513 passing yards and 58 touchdowns through the air as well as 2,168 yards and 36 touchdowns on the ground. Evans had 33 offensive scores in his senior season and averaged 311 yards per game through the air and on the ground.

In the 2021 CFL season Alouettes’ quarterback Vernon Adams averaged 280 yards per game, and Jeremiah Masoli of Hamilton averaged 292 yards per game in the games they both started. The two quarterbacks bring the dual threat ability to their respective offences and Caleb Evans could easily be compared to them both for what he brings to the Redblacks offence, but to be able to get to where they both are, first he will need to be given the starting quarterback job for the Ottawa Redblacks, which should be an easy call for the Redblacks’ front office and then the Ottawa Redblacks will need to build around Evans, giving him everything he needs to be a successful quarterback in the CFL.

If you ask anyone whether or not Caleb Evans should start for the Ottawa RedBlacks in 2022, they will respond with a question like “will he win?” or “can he win the Grey Cup?” and the answer to that would be yes, but he cannot do it alone. He is going to need help from the offensive line, who gave up a total 53 sacks in 2021 and the skill position players around him. The Redblacks’ front office will not only need to decide on keeping Evans as the starting quarterback and not signing another QB this off-season but will need to address both of those spots on the offensive side of the football. They will need to bring back both Mark Korte and Nolan MacMillan, the only two proven offensive linemen on the Redblacks roster, as well as receivers Nate Behar, R.J Harris and Kenny Stafford, keeping their own, and then add some key players in free-agency and the 2022 CFL Draft.

By bringing in some big men up front and some playmakers for Evans, he will be able to succeed. He has some success in 2021 with the situation he was placed in, so there’s no denying that there is potential in Caleb Evans. At just 23 years old, on a rookie contract it would help the Ottawa RedBlacks build a roster around him, as mentioned previously and can give the city of Ottawa a face of their football team for a long time if he’s given the chance to be their starting quarterback moving forward.

Will it happen? We will see.