It’s January 10th, the day after CFL players can begin exercising their opt out clause to sign in the NFL. BC Lions fans have been on pins and needles awaiting a decision on quarterback Nathan Rourke. He has worked out for at least 11 NFL teams since early December. The deadline to opt out of his CFL contract and sign in the NFL is mid-February.
Standout Defensive Lineman Mathieu Betts has also been engaged in multiple NFL workouts as well. It wasn’t exactly a slow day news out of the Lions camp. The club announced the signing of RB Tavien Feaster, QB Vad Lee and OL Will St. Hubert.
Feaster turned 26 on New Year’s Eve. After winning two National Championships while at Clemson, he transferred to South Carolina for his senior season. He didn’t get the desired results from switching programs. This led him to be not selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Even with that there was no shortage of chances for him south of the border. Stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars, NY Giants, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals didn’t amount to much of anything. In 2022 the Montreal Alouettes would sign Feaster but he would only manage 11 rushing attempts. He did have an impressive 5.6 yards per carry on his limited rushes. The average lined up with him being second all-time in yards per carry at Clemson with a rate of 5.99 per rushing attempt.
The Lions were fortunate to acquire his services as he became a free agent as he was on Montreal’s practice roster at the end of the season. The Alouettes deemed him expendable with William Stanback, Walter Fletcher and Wes Sutton in their backfield. Running Back James Butler still remains unsigned after an impressive 2022 campaign with the Leos. As of right now the Lions backfield consists of Bruce Anderson and newcomer Nate Chavious.
Lee will turn 30 in April and is coming near the end of his professional football chances. Released by the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers a couple of weeks ago, this appears to be a grasp by the Leos in finding another dual threat quarterback. After an unimpressive start to his collegiate career at Georgia Tech, Lee transferred to James Madison where he was quite the opposite. He would be awarded the Dudley Award twice as the best college player in Virginia. No other player who won that award did it twice. Amongst those who won were Tiki Barber, Chris Long, Tyrod Taylor, Taylor Heinecke and Malik Willis. Lee dressed for 3 games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016. He has since bounced around the pro ranks, its now or never for the soon to be 30-year old signal caller.
St.Hubert checks all the boxes in what you want out of an offensive lineman. He’s young (early 20’s), big (6’5, 285 lbs) and Canadian. A veteran of the Canadian Junior Football League, starting out in Ontario with the GTA Grizzlies before moving to the Vancouver Island Raiders in the BCFC. Last season he was an All-Star with the expansion Prince George Kodiaks. His coach in Prince George was two-time Grey Cup champion Keon Raymond. St. Hubert had high praise as his coach had this to say after the season…. “His dominant play and leadership on the field has made him a standout this season. He is a big physical player with all the tools to succeed at the next level. I believe we will see him playing on the weekends for one of your favourite CFL teams.”
BC Lions fans have had the off-season overshadowed by all the Nathan Rourke news. Unfortunately the team had to release All-Star Safety Lucheioz Purifoy before his active roster bonus kicked in. The CFL has a very restrictive salary cap and it cost the Lions a very good player. The Edmonton Elks wasted no time in signing Purifoy. The Lions have made some positive moves up to this point and over the next month and a half there will be plenty more.
CFLNEWSHUB will keep you updated every step of the way. For Apple users be sure to download the cflnewshub app to have all the relevant CFL news at your fingertips.
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January 13, 2023 at 11:10 am
The B.C Lions don’t have much time when it comes to offering a contract extention to Nathan Rourke. They can at least offer him the NFL minimum and a nice signing bonus to go along with it. They should, he is good for the CFL.