Cutting it down

Justin Tang/Canadian Press



  • International linebacker John Vogeler
  • International defensive back Troy Stoudermire
  • International receiver R.J. Shelton


  • National linebacker Drew Morris
  • International defensive back Monteze Latimore
  • National defensive back Shamar Busby
  • International defensive lineman Kevin Bronson
  • International defensive lineman John Sheehy

The Ottawa REDBLACKS appear to be getting a head start to the cut-down this Saturday. Each CFL team is obligated to decrease their roster amount down to 56 players on Saturday June, 8th. With Ottawa releasing R.J Shelton and Troy Stoudermire and signing the players above, it looks like they’ve got a good idea who they’re keeping and who are leaving.

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It is back!

Lil’ Recap

  • First play of the game, Dominique Davis finds Caleb Holley on a 62 yard completion. This play lead to a 23 yard field goal by Mr. Automatic, Lewis Ward.
  • Shortly after a Hamilton touchdown, R.J Shelton fumbled near the goal line, and may have suffered a major leg injury.
  • Getting hot early with a 28 yard run, John Crockett surprised fans with his 54 yards on just 7 carries.
  • In the third quarter, DeVonte Dedmon took a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Jose Maltos’ convert tied up the game 18-18 with about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.
  • Will Arndt who was on fire in the 4th Quarter hit DeVonte Dedmon for 38 yards, which lead to a 38 yard Jose Maltos field goal.
  • REDBLACKS who were found inside their own redzone, got out from a 33 yard Will Arndt to Ryan Lankford connection, instead of the 50 yard field goal attempt, Will Arndt had a pass knocked down on 3rd and 10.
  • With 5:30 left in the game, Troy Stoudermire intercepted Hamilton QB, Moore to take over at the Ottawa 18 yard line.
  • The turnover drive ended in a punt by Maltos, and Will Arndt and the squad only got the ball back with 1:34 left in the game.

Stats… Top 10 players of the game!

  1. DeVonte Dedmon, 1 catch 38 yards, 2 Punt Returns 23 yards, 1 Kick Return for 100 yard TD, 1 tackle.
  2. Caleb Holley, 120 yards on 3 catches (62 yard longest)
  3. Ironhead Gallon, 7 tackles (lead both teams)
  4. William Arndt, 7/16 124 yards, 17.7 yard average.
  5. John Crockett, 7 carries for 54 yards, 1 catch for 11 yards, 1 special teams tackle.
  6. Dominique Davis, 5/7 118 yards, 23.6 yard average.
  7. Ryan Lankford, 3 catches for 62 yards, 2 Punt Returns for 20 yards, 2 Kick Returns for 46 yards.
  8. Troy Stoudermire, 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 Kick Return for 12 yards.
  9. Lewis Ward, 3/3 field goals (27 yard longest)
  10. R.J Harris, 2 catches for 40 yards (22 yard longest)

Top 3 notes

Julie Oliver/Postmedia
  • Will Arndt performed well, and threw for he most yards on the team, has a shot to move up on the QB depth chart.
  • John Crockett and Mossis Madu could create the best backfield the CFL has ever seen.
  • Diontae Spencer and Greg Ellingson will not be missed. It may only be pre-season, but damn Caleb Holley was on fire. Ryan Lankford who also returns kicks has some reliable hands and has a shot to be a super duper receiver. EXTRA: Lewis Ward is still good, at 3/3 he has already started his streak to 50.

So it begins…


What to look for… Top 3

  • QBs! With Trevor Harris one of a few departures this off-season, we’ve got eyes on a new starting QB. Last year, the REDBLACKS had Dominique Davis as a backup, and this year he has his hands on the starting job. Although Dom has seen the most time in plaid, we also have signed Jonathon Jennings, who will also be chasing down to be QB1. On Saturday, when Ottawa faces Hamilton at TD Place, we should see lots of the two QBs, nut we should also see lots of Danny Collins, who could slip into QB1 talks!
  • Special teams! Do I really have to say anything for this? Lewis Ward is a God. Last year, the kid made 48 straight kicks in the regular season. Did I forget to mention, it was his rookie year? Coming in for his sophomore season, this Saturday we will see Lewis Ward do Lewis Ward things. Even without Lewis Ward, we’ve got the best punter in the CFL in Richie Leone, and might have the two best returners in the league with Ryan Lankford and Troy Stoudermire.
  • The bud? With Greg Ellingson off to Edmonton, Brad is all by himself. With all his time in Ottawa, Brad has yet to play without Greg. Although many fans are worried about these departures like Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson or William Powell, we shouldn’t be worried at all. This season will be different than others, but the whole “Next man up” mentality has got to be big in the locker room. At running-back, losing Will Powell wasn’t too bad. Considering we’ve already got Mossis Madu, signing John Crockett was huge. Also on offense, we lost Diontae Spencer and Greg Ellingson, to replace them we signed Caleb Holley (Sask), Ryan Lankford (WPG, KR/WR), and Nate Behar from Edmonton. If you are at the game or watching it at home, watch out for Caleb Holley, RJ Harris, Nate Behar and Ryan Lankford, they’ll be doing special things this year!

Who to look for… Top 3

  • RJ Shelton. Former Michigan State Spartans wide receiver/kick returner has eyes on the 2019 roster. Last season, he was given a shot with the REDBLACKS. It opened his eyes, and showed him what he can do! He was given a spot on the practice roster, until the team made moves and later released him. RJ is back in camp, and is not taking his opportunity for granted. This Saturday, he will face limited time on the field, but will give his “A” game every second he is playing.
  • Danny Collins. The former Maine QB enters his third season in the CFL in the middle of a QB carousel. Danny has spent the last two season behind Trevor Harris, but with Trevor gone Danny has his opportunity to show what he is made of. Sure, Dom Davis and Jonathon Jennings may have more CFL experience and all, but I am looking forward to seeing Danny give 110% every single snap.
  • Troy Stoudermire. The Minnesota University product would not have to prove himself on any other team, but this year’s defense is stacked. Our secondary contains of, Jonathan Rose, Sherrod Baltimore, Corey Tindal, Antoine Pruneau, Chris Randle, Anthony Cioffi, Justin Howell, Randall Evans, and Troy Stoudermire. Troy performs well on the defensive side of the ball, but once-you see him return a few kicks, your mind will be blown. Troy set the record for most kick return yards in FBS history at 3,615 yards. With Diontae Spencer off to the NFL, Troy might have a shot at returning kicks, alongside WR Ryan Lankford.

Thanks for reaching the end of the article, enjoy Saturday’s game, keep your eyes open for a game recap Sunday morning.

John Crockett Leans Towards Career in CFL

Photo by Robert Greeley
  • Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 27 years young; February 16 1992
  • Went to Fridley Totino-Grace High School
  • Played with Brock Jensen and Carson Wentz at North Dakota State University
  • In his senior year of University, he scored 21 rushing touchdowns on over 2,000 all purpose yards
  • 3 time NCAA FCS National Champ
  • Played with Green Bay, Oakland and Baltimore in NFL
  • Played with the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

During my time at this year’s fan fest, I was fortunate enough to interview veteran running back, John Crockett.

Photo from David Purdy/Getty Images

With John Crockett held onto NFL rosters, he has not been on any CFL rosters. His numbers back in college, are unheard of. If he can match those numbers here in Ottawa, he can be a superstar. Q: Outside of football, what do you think of Ottawa so far? A: “Actually, I love the city of Ottawa. Right now I’m just a little scared about the cold weather coming later on. I’m a Minnesota guy, so the cold doesn’t affect me too much, but the weather has to stay consistent.” Q: Have you been to Canada before this? A: “Absolutely not. The closest I’ve been to Canada is listening to Drake.” Q: With most of your career under the American rule book, how has it been adjusting to the CFL? A: “Well, that is one of the greatest things about it (the game of football), the field is bigger, only 3 downs and people have to realize that its a way faster tempo than the NFL. At the end of the day, its just football, you go out there and play the game you love with just another guy on the field.” Q: From your time in the AAF, how was your experience with the league? A: “The AAF really did stand out, it was put together for just as long as it was together. Other than that, it was a great opportunity for players to go out and enjoy playing ball again.” Q: If it lasted longer, do you believe that it could have been up with the NFL/CFL? A: “I think it could have definitely been a baby sister (Farm League) to the NFL or CFL, the NFL is and always will be the best, then going north is the CFL, and after that we’ve got nothing. If they had lasted longer than it did, I believe it could have done well.” Q: With the REDBLACKS losing a few big pieces during the off-season, how do you give yourself the best opportunity to get noticed during camp? A: “Well, you come in with a good mindset to make plays, the one thing you want to do with a successful team like Ottawa, is contribute everything you’ve got, and try your best to makes difference and show coaches and scouts what you can do for the team.” Q: What advice would you give a young athlete looking to go next level? A: One thing that I go by and others don’t always believe is that the hard work really does pay off. You have to put time and effort into what you love,and you will see success chasing you down.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Thank you for reaching the end of this article. I learnt a few things during this interview, and I hope you did too! #RNATION

Tyrone Pierre’s March to Legacy

Tyrone Pierre

  • Born and raised in Ottawa, ON
  • Went to St.Peters Catholic High School in Ottawa
  • 24 years young; February 8 1995
  • 41st overall pick in 2018 CFL draft
  • Among the 6 REDBLACKS’ players from the University of Laval
  • Is a rapper that goes by the name “Hueso”
  • Link to music
  • Has fought through a few leg injuries, and is at 100% as of now
  • Has high hopes to be a hometown hero in near future

On Sunday, May 26, the REDBLACKS hosted “Fan Fest”. Fan Fest is a great day, which gives fans the best opportunities to interact with their favorite players. Just before the activities, I was fortunate enough to have a quick interview with Pierre.

Even though, the REDBLACKS lost Greg Ellingson, and Diontae Spencer during the off-season, the wide receiver depth is insane. Q: There are many good wide-outs here in camp, how do you separate yourself from others? A: “In all realness, I just try to learn something from all of them. With guys like Dominique (Rhymes), RJ (Harris), and Brad (Sinopoli), its not about standing out, its more about learning, taking all information coach (Winston October) gives us and applying it onto the field. As a rookie, I don’t know as much as the veteran guys, so right now, learning and improving is on my mind.” Q: As one of the new guys on the team, what veteran guys have you been looking up to? A: “For me, its actually an Alumni from my old school, Julian Feoli(Gudino). He’s taken a leadership role within the guys to critique me once and a while. From there, everyone is helping everyone, and that is something we all need. Day 1-3 we’re all fresh and ready to go, but day 4 and 5 are always tough, and we’ve been pushing each-other for those last reps, so everyone, weather you’re a rookie or a veteran guy, we’ve all been leaders.” Q: This off-season, you launched your career as a rapper, what inspired you to start making the music that your making? A: “Honestly, it was just the fact that I was injured, I injured my knee, so there wasn’t much to be doing. I was going through a lot mentally, having mixed emotions and I thought it was therapeutic. I started to write, and spilling my emotions over a beat and get to work.” Q: Who is your favorite artist? A: “Sheesh, right now I’ve got so many. I like Meek Mill a lot. Before football games, you can put on some Meek Mill and get hyped up.” Q: What is it like playing pro football back home? Was this a big dream of yours? A: “Ya, honestly I’m sure its every athletes dream to play back home. Its been great so far, although since it’s only camp it hasn’t quite soaked in as I thought so. In camp, the schedule is off, so once we get moving it might soak in more. I feel like the first game will be pretty sweet, having friends and family out!” Q: What advice would you give a young athlete trying to go next level? A: “All honesty, school. Growing up, I wasn’t exactly the best student. If there was something I can change, it would be that. Make school your priority, because that’s the only way you’re able to play football, play basketball and hockey. Stay in school and keep the grades up, so when you are done with sports, you can better not only your life, but the lives around you.”

Thank you very much for reaching the end of the article. I hope you learned a thing or two more about Tyrone. Hope to see some #85s at TD place that say “Pierre” instead of “Spencer”.

Nicolas Boulay

Nicolas Boulay putting pressure on QB Brandon Bridge, photo by Matt Smith

Nicolas Boulay, the Quebec native signed by Ottawa on February 12th is looking to be a key to the REDBLACKS defense this upcoming season. Boulay, product of Sherbrooke University, was originally drafted and signed by Montreal in round 4 of the 2012 CFL Draft. Nicolas has been a big piece to the defenses he has been on, rallying up 58.5 tackles and 5 sacks in the 9 games from his 2012 season in Sherbrooke and 102 tackles, 1 forced fumble within the 97 games played for Montreal.

The newest REDBLACKS linebacker, has a brother who has spent time on the defensive line on Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, and Edmonton. The two siblings actually have had games played against each other on August 8th 2014, Montreal played Edmonton. Edmonton came out on top 33-23, but Nicolas won the battle between the siblings, getting one tackle, and a fumble recovery.

This off-season, shortly after Nicolas was signed, I was fortunate to ask him a few questions.

Q: What is your favorite color? A: Black

Q: What is your favorite meal? A: Shepherds pie, with any fruit known to humans!

Q: What is your dream car? A: I’m a big truck guy and already own one, a Toyota Tacoma, and I love it!

Q: If you couldn’t play sports, what would you be doing? A: Become a professional gamer!

Q: If you could pick one NFL team to play for, who are you playing for? A: Not abig fan of the NFL, I’ve fallen in love with the CFL and would have to stay with Ottawa! #RNATION

Thank you for checking out the website, hope you enjoyed getting to know Nicolas! See you at TD Place!

J.P Bolduc

Photo from REDBLACKS twitter

J.P Bolduc, the Laval product has been nothing but a blessing for the REDBLACKS. From on the field to off the field, he has always well represented the organization! J.P, who recently caught his first career interception has found himself moving back and forth within Linebacker, Half-back and Safety. Even with all the snaps at defense, Bolduc has enough stamina to be a big special teams help for Ottawa. The defensive and special teams stud has flied over the field for 48 tackles in the 43 games he’s spent in the CFL. With Marcel making little moves on the defensive side this off-season, we may see J.P power through with a big role in the ’19 campaign!

This off-season, I was lucky enough to have asked J.P some questions, I hope these answers help you decide to buy that #20 jersey you’ve always wanted!

What Is your favorite color?

J.P: Red, for the REDBLACKS and Rouge et Or!!

What is your favorite meal?

J.P: Fish (Salmon), and some Oreos and milk for desert.

What is your “Dream” car?

J.P: Mercedes Benz G Wagon easily!

What would you be doing if you were not playing football?

J.P: If I was not on the football field, I’d be killing it in the Politics!

If you could pick one NFL team to play for, who are you picking?

J.P: 100% Cleveland, been cheering for the Browns for ever! Now with Ryan Lindley on the coaching staff, it would be pretty cool!

Now that you know a thing or two more about J.P, I hope to see multiple people cheering for him to get another interception!

Will Arndt

Photo taken by Chris Hofley of Arndt during 2018 mini camp

William Arndt, the longtime QB from Connecticut has juked and jived through multiple obstacles throughout his football career and isn’t looking for another obstacle to go through. In his freshman year if high school, Will was the starting quarterback of his school’s freshman team. He battled through a few minor back injuries while weight lifting, although with his competing mind set, he had no time to sit out. During that season, those minor injuries became a bigger problem in his football career and everyday lifestyle, he tucked the ball and went for a little scramble and was hit awkwardly. The awkward hit left Arndt partially paralyzed. The injury forced Will to be in a wheel chair for multiple weeks. The chances of him playing another season of football again would be next to zero. Arndt was on a mission and proved everyone wrong! Just over a year after he was in a wheel chair, he was back chucking bombs.  

Although he was back on the field, D1 University coaches had doubts about his abilities and if he is at his best potential yet.  

With minimal D1 offers graduating from high school, he chose to play at the University of West Conneticuit. He was playing college ball close to home, every athletes dream. His first game in University uniform, he caught for over 100 yards. Yep, thats right, CAUGHT, Will was working in at wide-out for the first weeks of his freshman season!
After a few injuries in the depth chart, he was back at QB and put on a show for the university! He put up over 3,000 yards passing and 32 touchdowns in his Senior season and was later invited to the FCS National Bowl wheres showcased his skills and talent in front of pro scouts. 

After a stint in the Alberta Football League, he was signed to a long term contract to play with the Ottawa Redblacks.
Arndt is yet to showcase his talent in a regular season game, although we have seen his potential in preseason games. 

This off-season, I contacted Will regarding a few questions…
Q: What’s your favorite color? A: Red/Black
Q: What’s your favorite meal? A: Ohana’s dinner at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, or anything from Chipotle
Q: What is your dream car? A: Audi S4 or a BMW M4
Q: If you couldn’t play sports, what would you be doing? A: If I never played sports, I’d probably be in the police crew, although now that I’ve been around football for awhile, I’ll definitely be working with football!
Q: If you could pick one NFL team to play for, who are you playing for? A: Nowhere in the NFL, I’m still looking to finish writing my story here in Ottawa. 

Now that you’ve seen him play, and know a little more about him, in the near future I hope to see a few #8s in the stands at TD place!

Sherrod Baltimore

Sherrod Baltimore, the Maryland native has spent two seasons with Ottawa. Two successful seasons, I’d say. In the two seasons that he has worn red and black (’17,’18), he’s had two trips to the playoffs, one ending in the Eastern Semi Final, and the other ending in the big game! In Sherrod’s 2018 season, he started the year on the practice squad. With a few big free agent signings, it did not look promising that we’d see a lot of him throughout the year. Although, during the season Marcel made a some moves, releasing both DBs Loucheiz Purifoy and Josh Johnson having Sherrod Baltimore sent back onto the gameday roster. While on the roster, there was no looking back for Sherrod. Racking up over 15 tackles throughout the season, and being an absolute ball hawk during the second half of the season, he recorded 4 interceptions, one of which came in the Grey Cup!

Before his days in Ottawa, Baltimore went to The University of Maine. During his career at Maine, he recorded 66 tackles, 11 pass deflections and 2 interceptions that came in his Senior year. He later went undrafted in both the NFL and CFL, and was picked up by Ottawa in the 2017 free agent camp!

During the off-season, I reached out to many of the guys, to see if they could answer some questions.

Q: What is your favorite color? A: Black

Q: What is your favorite meal, desert included? A: Lobster, crab legs, a filet mignon with zucchini and wild rice and for desert, vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Q: What is your dream car? A: A Rolls Royce, with stars in the ceiling.

Q: What would you be doing if you couldn’t play sports? A: I’d be either rapping, or coaching sports.

Q: If you could pick any team to play for, who are you picking? A: Patriots, Bill Belichick does a good job at putting players in a good position to make plays no matter who you are. Not to mention that they win super bowls.

Now that you know more about Sherrod, I hope you’ve become a bigger fan of his that you were before!