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Double Defensive Back: Riders Re-up Nelson Lokombo, Sign One More

The green and white continue to re-sign players ahead of the start of free agency, bringing back versatile Canadian defensive back Nelson Lokombo. The pending free agent and the Roughriders agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension allowing him to play in Saskatchewan for 2024.

The Abbotsford, B.C. native was selected second overall in the 2021 CFL draft out of the University of Saskatchewan, one spot behind Jake Burt who was the first player taken off the board by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The 24-year-old only played in 11 games last season due to a knee injury, recording five defensive tackles and four special teams tackles. Over his three-year CFL career, he’s accumulated 18 tackles on defence, five special teams tackles, and one forced fumble. Lokombo has only played in two of his three seasons however, tearing his achilles in training camp of his rookie season in 2021.

The former Huskie had an accomplished U Sports career, claiming the Presidents’ Trophy in 2019 as the top defensive player in the Canadian Collegiate ranks. He was also named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian, a Canada West all-star, and the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Canada West.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back has seen time at both safety and half-back over his CFL tenure. Saskatchewan has now shored up both of those positions ahead of free agency, bringing back half-back Amari Henderson and bringing in former Edmonton Elk safety and strong-side linebacker Mark McLaurin. While starters Rolan Milligan Jr. and Canadian Jayden Dalke remain under contract.

The younger brother of B.C. Lions’ linebacker Boseko Lokombo, will provide great Canadian depth in the Riders secondary, with potential to start. The defensive back started one game for Saskatchewan in 2023, starting at safety against the Calgary Stampeders in week three.

The Roughriders also announced the signing of American cover man C.J. Coldon. The 25-year-old signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent after going unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft, spending a chunk of the season on their practice squad.

The Belleville, Illinois native finished his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma. In 12 games in his final year in 2022, Coldon was named an All-Big 12 team honourable mention, making 42 tackles (two were tackles for loss), four interceptions, and six pass deflections.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound defensive back primarily played at cornerback over his time in college and with the Minnesota Vikings.

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Coty Wiles
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