Just look at the Ottawa Redblacks’ starting lineup for Friday night’s season-opener in The ‘Peg. Out of the starting 24 players, there are 13 new faces, 10 of them on offence. The roster consists of a whopping 17 players who were with other CFL clubs in 2021.
On offence: A new quarterback (Jeremiah Masoli), four new offensive linemen (Ucambre Williams, Hunter Steward, Darius Ciraco and Jacob Ruby), a new running back (Devonte Williams) and four new receivers (Jaelon Acklin, Shaq Johnson, Darvin Adams and Justin Hardy). On the starting unit, the only returning players are receiver Nate Behar and tackle Dino Boyd. Fullback Marco Dubois also moves into a part-time starting role.
The 33-year-old is coming out of a timeshare situation with Dane Evans in Hamilton. When he’s on his game, he’s shown he can be elite. In 2018, he was the East Division’s Most Outstanding Player. That’s the kind of upside RNation gets. There have been obstacles in his journey, but he’s persevered.
“My dad fell in love with (football) when he was growing up,” said Masoli. “That same love and passion were passed on to me. Establishing that as my baseline, any obstacles after that weren’t really obstacles — they were just something I had to deal with. I’ve come a long way. I started playing both sides of the line as a kid. I started in high school at (middle) linebacker, I was one of the hardest-hitting players. That’s just who I was and who I grew up to be.”