WINNIPEG, MB. – Liam Dobson will not be returning to the blue gold this season as he will be testing his skill in the United States Football League (USFL).
Dobson is a six-foot-three offensive lineman out of Maine and Texas A&M University. Dobson transferred to Texas A&M for his senior year after he was selected number three overall by the Blue bombers, but opted to return for his senior year.
During his amateur career, Dobson was lauded preseason All-America Third-Team selection by Hero Sports and 2020 preseason First-Team All-Colonial Athletic Association by Phil Steele. During the regular season he was FCS Third-Team All-America and First-Team All-CAA in 2019, voted Maine’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman starting all 12 games and averaging 12 knockdowns per game in 2019. He was Maine’s highest-graded offensive lineman in every game as a junior, was named Second-Team All-CAA, and a Hero Sports Honorable Mention Sophomore All-American in the starting in 14 games in 2018. Dobson helped make way for a 1,000-yard rusher and aided the Bears in averaging 134.4 rushing yards per game. Dobson was a full-time starter and aided in a CAA title in 2018.
Dobsons’ number three overall selection in the 2021 CFL draft made him the first offensive lineman off the board.
Dobson would have been an excellent candidate to replace Drew Desjarlais at left guard, who signed a deal with the New England Patriots in January. Instead, Dobson is now under contract with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers for the 2022 season with a team option for 2023.
“It is a threat,” said general manager Kyle Walters . “It’s a threat losing young American talented players and now losing one of our draft picks? That’s tough.”
CFL teams are able to place 45 players on their negotiation list at any given time, ensuring them the exclusive right to sign each player. With the Blue Bombers losing almost a dozen of their negotiation list players to the USFL, Walters feels the upstart league is making it tougher for CFL teams to recruit American talent fresh out of college or the NFL.
Some notable former CFL players who were selected in the USFL draft include linebacker Vontae Diggs, defensive back Anthony Cioffi, defensive lineman Jonathan Newsome, kicker Nick Vogel, and quarterback Paxton Lynch.