'Riders sign NI's Bradshaw, Ackerman, Scott

(Stolen from the TSN website)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed non-import offensive lineman Ryan Ackerman, non-import running back Reggie Bradshaw and non-import defensive lineman Kevin Scott to contracts on Tuesday.

Financial details of the signings were not released.

Ackerman was drafted in the fourth round (28th overall) by the Riders in last year's CFL draft. After attending training camp with the Riders he returned to the University of Regina for his fourth season on the offensive line. He anchored an offensive line at the U of R that helped the Rams average a Canada West leading 32.1 points per game.

''Ryan competed pretty well last year in camp, and, even with our excellent depth, he earned the right to get another shot,'' Roughrider General Manager/Vice President Eric Tillman stated. ''Ryan has worked really hard this off season, and he cares about being the best he can be, which is an attitude our coaches respect.''

Bradshaw was drafted in the fifth round (34th overall) by the Riders in last year's CFL draft. Bradshaw returned to the University of Montana for his final season which was cut short by injury after only two games. In 2006, he rushed for 572 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games.

"Reggie's senior season was cut short with a knee injury, but his rehab has gone very well, and we expect him to be full speed at rookie camp,'' Tillman said. ''He is a big back with explosive speed to get to the corner and he can make things happen in the open field. But, while Reggie's developing and adapting to playing at the professional level, we expect him, with his unique combination of size and speed, to help us on special teams from day one. When we traded last year (2007) on draft day, putting ourselves in position to select Reggie, we knew he was returning to school for his senior season, but felt he was well worth waiting for. Now that Reggie's signed, we feel even better about that investment in our future.''

Scott has spent the past five seasons at the University of Queen's where he dressed in 32 regular season games and five playoff games. He was named an OUA second-team all-star in 2005 and was the team's long-snapper for the past four seasons.

''Kevin is an interesting young man,'' said Tillman ''He's a good deep snapper and he runs really well for a man his size, which helps in terms of covering kicks. Jocelyn (Frenette) has done an excellent job for us, but, because of his weight, he has not helped us as much as we need him to in covering punts. If Jocelyn reports in the condition we've asked him to, he can be the best snapper in the CFL. But, Kevin is a quality athlete, and he's going to compete hard."

Bradshaw is an important signing. The other two guys, are pretty much cannon fodder. It'll be great if they do well in camp and even make the team. More power to them. But we have a number of guys ahead of them on the depth chart. On the other hand, we have almost no one ahead of Bradshaw. Hughes and Szarka. And this could easily be Szarka's swan song. So developing some NI depth at RB now is quite important. Unless he is a total dud, Bradsaw should make the team, and likely not just the practice squad, but as a roster player.

And even if Bradshaw does play fullback down the road they can still utilize his speed in the running game. He is a big back but can run in the 4.4 area so he should be a very interesting prospect to see at camp.