Monday, December 4, 2023

"REDBLACKS name Tommy Condell Offensive Coordinator"

OTTAWA - The Ottawa REDBLACKS announced Monday that veteran CFL coach Tommy Condell has been named the club's offensive coordinator. 

Condell, 52, has helped lead his teams to five Grey Cup appearances in the last decade and brings a wealth of CFL and collegiate experience to the REDBLACKS. Most recently, Condell spent four years as Offensive Coordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a position he held since he was promoted to the role in 2019 until the end of the 2023 campaign. In his first year as OC with the Tabbies, the team went 15-3 and reached the 107th Grey Cup. He added Quarterback Coach to his duties the following season. 

“Throughout the process of getting to know Bob Dyce, time spent exchanging values and beliefs of all things related to football and beyond, made this the ideal situation for myself and family,” said Condell. “The commitment that is tangibly shown in all areas by the Ottawa REDBLACKS and OSEG to bringing another Grey Cup championship to this great city was evident early on.”

The Utica, NY native joined the Argos as Receivers Coach in 2017 and won a Grey Cup championship that year. He was promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2018. Prior to joining the Argos, Condell had his initial run with the Ticats as Offensive Coordinator and Receivers Coach, twice reaching the Grey Cup game while also losing to the REDBLACKS in the 2015 East Division Final. 

"We are excited to welcome Tommy and his family to Ottawa. The search process for an offensive coordinator was extensive and throughout it, Tommy’s name kept rising to the up of the list," said Head Coach Bob Dyce. "Not only were we impressed with Tommy's history of successful offensive production, but he has a proven ability to win at the professional level and play to the strength of his personnel. He has a track record of coming into teams and improving offenses, especially through explosive plays and red zone success."

This will mark Condell's second time coaching in Ottawa, having served as Quarterbacks Coach, Receivers Coach and Passing Coordinator with the Ottawa Renegades. Following a two-year stint in Ottawa and a year as Offensive Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Condell again spent time coaching south of the border before returning to the CFL. 

Condell first coached in the CFL in 1997 when he was Special Teams Coordinator for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His American collegiate coaching credits include time with the McNeese State Cowboys, Louisiana-Monroe Indians, Southeastern Louisiana Lions and Cornell Big Red. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

uOttawa's Max Charbonneau Receives the OUA's President's Award

The image and text below are cut from a press release announcing the Conference's major award winners.

A senior season to remember for Max Charbonneau, the Ottawa Gee-Gees linebacker takes home the 2023 President’s Award as the OUA’s outstanding stand-up defensive player.

Despite missing time early last season and ultimately playing through a knee injury, the criminology major was still selected by the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers after earning a ticket to the national combine. Returning to the Garnet and Grey for a final season, however, Charbonneau showcases what being an elite tackler with outstanding consistency looks like from a middle linebacker.

A tackle-machine for the Gee-Gees this season, Charbonneau found himself atop the conference when it came to takedowns. The senior linebacker finished with 44 solo and 36 assisted tackles, good for 62.0 in total, which was second across the country. On a game-by-game basis, Charbonneau’s 7.8 tackles per contest also had him among the top three in the conference and nation.

Charbonneau also added a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and blocked kick as part of his award-winning season, becoming the first Gee-Gee to earn the award since 2017 (Jackson Bennett).

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Four REDBLACKS named CFL East All-Stars

OTTAWA - The Canadian Football League announced, today, that four Ottawa REDBLACKS players have been named among the 2023 East Division All-Stars.

Receiver Justin Hardy, Defensive lineman Bryce Carter, defensive back Brandin Dandridge, and punter Richie Leone have been recognized for their outstanding performances during the season, and have been named to this year's All-Star squad.

Hardy, 31, earns his first All-Star nod, in just his second CFL season. The Washington, D.C. product broke the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time, hauling in 85 passes for 1,009 yards, and three touchdowns. He posted two games of 100+ yards through the air, and made a career-long 54-yard touchdown catch in Week 19 at Toronto.

Carter, 25, broke out with 12 sacks in his sophomore season, finishing tied for second in the CFL. A native of Steelton, Pennsylvania, Carter also ended the year with 31 defensive tackles, and two forced fumbles. He set a new single-game career high in the REDBLACKS' Week 16 win over Saskatchewan, getting to the quarterback three times.

Dandridge, 27, enjoyed an outstanding defensive season; with five interceptions, a pick six, a forced fumble, and 24 defensive tackles. He also made equally significant contributions in the return game, as when DeVonte Dedmon went down with an early-season injury, Dandridge immediately stepped in, and the Lee's Summit, Missouri native returned a punt 79 yards to the endzone in Week 2 vs Calgary. Dandridge racked up a total of 867 return yards, in just 13 games.

Leone, 31, is now a six-time divisional All-Star, and four-time East All-Star, having earned the honour with the REDBLACKS in 2018, 2019, 2021, and now 2023. The Roswell, Georgia native appeared in all 18 games, totalling 5,567 punt yards, including a a pair of 74-yarders.

Friday, October 13, 2023

1980, Aug. 18th: "Airborne Sooners Blank Burlington"

2023 Ottawa Sooner Conference All-Stars

As selected by a panel of coaches within the conference, here are the Sooners who have been named to the all-star team this year.

The Sooners finished the regular season with a 4-4 record and will travel to face the St. Clair Saints (8-0) this Saturday evening at 7PM in semi-final action. The last time they met, the Saints won 28-26.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

1996, Oct 27th: "Gee-Gees Earn Another Shot at Ravens"

Another uOttawa/Carleton double bill best shared as a post.

1961, Oct 2nd: "U of O, Carleton Win College Grid Openers"

After a lengthy quiet spell, there may be a flurry of random-seeming activity on here over the next couple of days.

I'm doing a clean up of old scans from my days of visiting the library for newspaper archives. Anything not already copied here will be so I can finally declutter my little football closet.

The game summary includes both university teams so rather than choose one over the other, I thought it best to make a post of it to link on either page. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

OFC Players of the Week: Week 4

The Sooners faced a tough start to their 2023 regular season schedule, resulting in an 0-3 start, but they continued to battle and recorded their first win last weekend in no small part due to the contributions of defensive lineman Richard Graham.  His performance earned him one of the player of the week honours. 

Richard Graham - #1 -  Ottawa Sooners

The Sooners’ defensive catalyst led a hard hitting Ottawa defence to their first win of the season over the previously undefeated Quinte Skyhawks. Graham wrecked havoc as he compiled 2 quarterback sacks, 2 tackles, blocked a kick and intercepted a pass which he returned for a 72 yard touchdown. In all Graham produced 20 defensive points on the day.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

2023, July 4th: Redblacks Acquire National LB Kevin Francis From Elks

The Ottawa REDBLACKS have acquired National linebacker Kevin Francis from the Edmonton Elks, today, in exchange for Ottawa’s fourth-round pick in the 2024 CFL Draft.

The full trade breakdown is as follows.


National LB Kevin Francis


2024 Fourth-round draft pick

Francis, 30, is in the midst of his eighth CFL season, having also spent a pair of stints each with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, REDBLACKS, and BC Lions, respectively. The Toronto native spent the 2022 campaign with the Lions, appearing in all 18 games, and recording a league-leading 22 special teams tackles.

He signed with the Elks on February 14, 2023.

He sure did. Then a month later asked for a trade or his release. Evidently he felt the terms of his contract were not being honoured by Edmonton to his satisfaction and understanding.

There is an additional detail to this deal that is not being reported by the REDBLACKS, though Edmonton included it in their own announcement.

The trade is for Ottawa's highest pick in the fourth round, not simply Ottawa's own pick. Ottawa looked to receive a conditional fourth-round draft choice from BC in a trade made last year for Terry Williams.  If BC were to pick higher in the round than Ottawa, Edmonton gets BC's selection in the round, not Ottawa's.

The photo of Francis above was copied from a 3DownNation article which credited Scott Grant for the work. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

2023 CFL College Draft Results

Updating through the evening. 

01-01 - OL Dontae Bull - Fresno State

Bull, 24, has spent the last five seasons with Fresno State, appearing in 37 games, altogether. The Victoria, British Columbia native started at right tackle for all seven games he suited up in during the 2022 campaign, before his season was cut short due to injury. He entered the year with no shortage of accolades, however; earning All-Mountain West offensive lineman honours, and participating in the 2022 Senior Bowl.

At Fresno State's Pro Day, Bull put up 20 reps on the 225lbs bench press, as well as a 25.5in vertical jump, and eight-foot three-inch broad jump, despite still rehabbing his injured leg.

GM Sean Burke via the Ottawa Sun: "We’re excited to get him. I truly believe he can be a tackle in this league. I believe he has the size, I believe he has the feet to do it. He can be very successful; when he gets his hands on people, he can take them out of the play. We went back and watched every game he’s played, but we focused on some games against some high-level NFL defensive ends where he competed hard and held his own against those guys."

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: “We like his size, he’s got some tenacity – he’s feisty. He can play left tackle, right tackle. I went down to the Pro Day and watched him jump. He still wasn’t running at that point, with his broken leg last year. But he looked great. He has a fantastic demeanour and work ethic which was totally vouched for by the staff (at Fresno State).”

02-10 - DB Lucas Cormier - Mount Allison

Phot credit unavailable

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: “He’s a strong kid with a great personality. He has an aggressive mindset and plays hard all the time. We see him maybe sliding into a linebacker position for us; we’ll try him out there. He’s got great speed, he’s a great tackler, he’s a tough kid.”

02-12 - LB James Peter - uOttawa

Photo by Dylan Benoit, Sharpshooter Media

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He really impressed me early. I saw him at the (College Gridiron Showcase) game in Texas up close against good competition and he really looked good. He was taking snaps with the first team all week and I was really impressed with his overall effort and ability. He’s highly intelligent and has that dog mentality."

02-17 (T) - WR Daniel Oladejo - uOttawa

Photography by Emir Atli 

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He’s a great receiver, a nice route runner with great hands. He’s another personality that fits. He’s aggressive, tough, he’s smooth and he wants to play hard. He’s a wants-to-win type of guy. He looked great at the (CFL Combine)."

03-19 - DT Aiden John - Saint Mary's

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He’s tall; he’s got a great defensive line body type, he’s got a lot of room to grow into his body. He’s got a very athletic frame, very muscle bound. He has a high ceiling and came with a great recommendation from (former Carleton coach) Coach Sumarah out there at SMU."

03-25 - LB Josh White - Regina

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "I think it was one of his coaches who said, ‘He’s a blunt instrument out there.’ He just wants to hit guys as hard as he can and make tackles. He plays fierce and he’s super smart."

05-37 - WR Daniel Perry - Saskatchewan

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He’s a great receiver with a great work ethic. He’s a pretty smooth route runner with good hands and lots of length. He was a top receiver on one of the top teams in the country. Some of these guys we’re talking about I’m really surprised we got them where we did, especially Daniel."

06-46 - DL Quintin Seguin - Charleston Southern

Photo credit unavailable

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He’s a big boy who’s tough. I saw him when he was a freshman at North Dakota and I’ve followed him ever since. It’s a steal (to get him this late), it’s kind of lucky."

07-55 - DL Alexander Fedchun - St. Francis Xavier

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He’s going back to school, we knew that. He’s going to set the sack record at St. FX this year. That tells me he loves football and wants to play. He’s a big-bodied, tall kid and he’s also very aggressive."

07-58 - RB Amlicar Polk - uOttawa

Chad Hudson, via the Ottawa Sun: "He didn’t get first-team reps at tailback (last season, playing behind J-P Cimankinda). We want to see how he fits in for us. Because he didn’t get all the reps on offence, he had some fantastic reps on special teams. He didn’t shy away from anything. We love that."