RIDERS SIGN DEFENSIVE TRIO[url=http://saskriders.ca/modules.php?name=News&file=news_dispatches&f_subcat=press_releases&archive=1&sid1=8343]http://saskriders.ca/modules.php?name=N ... &sid1=8343[/url]
Saskatchewan Roughrider General Manager Eric Tillman announced today they have signed non-import linebacker Jesse Alexander and import defensive backs R.J. Oliver and Chris Hawkins to contracts. Financial terms of the signings were not disclosed.
Alexander, who was selected by the Riders in the 5th round pick (37th overall) of the 2006 Canadian College Draft, played the last five seasons with the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks. In his last year the 6’1 - 230 lb middle linebacker was awarded the Presidents’ Trophy as the Ontario University Association’s Most Valuable Defensive Player. The Kitchener native was named an OUA First Team All-Star and a CIS First Team All-Canadian in 2006. Alexander finished the year with 56.5 defensive tackles, one pass knockdown, one forced fumble and three interceptions.
“Jesse attended our camp in 2006 and then of course, returned to Laurier where he had a sensational season,? said Tillman.
Oliver (5’9 – 178 lbs) an Arizona State product started 32 of 40 games for the Sun Devils. He collected 146 career tackles, nine interceptions and 31 pass break-ups. Oliver was granted a sixth year of eligibility in 2005 by the NCAA after missing all the 2004 season with a foot injury. He recently played in the Arena Football League.
“R.J. is what people refer to as a pure corner,? stated Tillman. “He has good hips, good recovery speed and, before his injury, was one of the best cover guys in the Pac-10.?
Hawkins (5’10 – 184 lbs) comes to the Riders after spending last year with the Washington Redskins. Prior to that, the corner back played one season at Marshall after transferring from the University of North Carolina. During his season at Marshall, the 24-year-old had 28 total tackles, 19 solo tackles, one tackle-for-a-loss, one forced fumble and broke up seven passes in the nine games he started.
“Chris is a darn good football player,? noted Tillman. “He runs well and he’s very physical.?
Good signings. It looks like all these guys are pretty good football players and they should bring some more good competition to training camp this year. If these DB's turn out to be solid we will be in alright shape in the secondary, and Alexander should be a nice addition to our linebacking core.