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New Elks Added To The Herd – Americans Thomas & Locksley

On January 12th, the Edmonton Elks announced the signing of two American players, Matthew Thomas (LB) and Kai Locksley (QB).

Matthew Thomas – Brings CFL, NFL, and XFL Experience to Edmonton

Florida State Seminole alumni, Matthew Thomas brings to the Green & Gold a plethora of football experience. Growing up as the middle child in a family of eight, Thomas started his professional football career as an undrafted player with the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018, where he played in 10 regular season games before being assigned to the practice squad. He played primarily on the Steelers special teams where he recorded four tackles. After a brief off-season stint with the NFL Baltimore Ravens, he joined the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks in January 2020, but was waived prior to the start of the season. After signing with the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Spring of 2020, he spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad, appearing in only one game.

Thomas brings to the Elks Special Teams some grit, speed and agility. He will provide depth at the linebacker position and his lateral movement and ability to close and track the ball may prove beneficial for the Elks defence, which will undoubtedly be built on speed and violence.

Thomas with the Steelers in 2018 – photo courtesy of the Athletic.com

Kai Locksley – Dual Threat QB

Usually, when we speak of a dual threat quarterback, we think of Hall of Famers like Damon Allen and Doug Flutie who could beat you with their arm and their legs. Kai Locksley last played with the Miami Dolphins during the 2021 Pre-Season, but not as a quarterback, but as a wide receiver. In the Dolphins final pre-season game against the Bengals, Locksley caught 5 passes for 46 yards. He was then cut and has now landed as depth quarterback (or WR?) with the Elks.

Kai Locksley, the son of Mike Locksley (Head Football Coach at the University of Maryland), played his final two years of college with the UTEP Miners. He is an explosive player who may provide the Elks offence with some additional firepower on offence as a QB who can also catch and run.

In speaking with Kai Locksley today, he is excited about the Canadian game with its’ wide field and pass first style of offence. He felt that the 65-yard wide field would give him more opportunities to “bend that corner.” When asked about what role the team has spoken to him about as the 4th QB on the roster, he stated that the Elks had been in contact with him for sometime, trying to gauge his interest in coming up to Canada. While the NFL and USFL were flirting with the idea of having him play as a wide receiver, he determined that playing in the CFL would be a better opportunity for him at the position he loves to play.

“I guess what made me excited to go this route [to the CFL as a QB] was the opportunity to go back to my natural position & be working with guys who liked my game…I could potentially do some great things in this league at the position I love, & after playing another position I’m more grateful and understanding in the privilege of the position.”

Kai Locksley speaking to CFL News Hub on 13 January 2022.

Edmonton fans welcome both additions to the herd and as GM Chris Jones stated today, there are no guarantees for any player at any position.

Darrell is a life-long CFL fan who is passionate about the 3 Down game. He has traveled to 17 different Grey Cup festivals and is a proud season ticket holder and Edmonton Elks fan.

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