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Ottawa Redblacks Place a Premium on Professional Experience, Sign List of Former NFL/UFL players

The Ottawa Redblacks have just signed a wave of NFL and UFL players. Including some very intriguing names. Some of these players were just weeks ago weighing their options in free agency, but now find a new chance to make a team in Ottawa. From a former 3rd round NFL Draft Pick to key contributors in the UFL, let’s take a look at the players Ottawa brought in just in time for the CFL Draft at the end of this month.

Dillon Stoner, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas Raiders NFL

Dillon Stoner is a Tulsa Oklahoma native who chose to attend Oklahoma State University for his college football. During his college career, he earned a list of accolades while racking up impressive numbers, and many highlight reel games including the one below where he went for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns on 8 receptions against Baylor in 2020. 

2017 First Team Academic All-Big 12

 2018 First Team Academic All-Big 12

 2019 First Team Academic All-Big 12

 2019 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)

 2019 Team Captain as voted by teammates

 2019 OSU Vernon Grant Award for outstanding leadership, spirit and enthusiasm

 2020 First Team Academic All-Big 12

 2020 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 WR (Coaches)

 2020 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 PR (Coaches)

 2020 Team Captain as voted by teammates

After a slow start in his freshman year, he put up four straight years with at least 42 receptions, 573 yards, and 2 touchdowns. However, his impact didn’t stop at wide receiver. He saw touches in many facets of OKSU’s offense including as a runner or passer. He had 1 carry for 12 yards, and 4 pass attempts. He would collect two completions for 5 yards and 1 touchdown as a passer. His real value might be on special teams.

On special teams, he was often the primary punt returner, and despite his role as a starter on offense, he still played as a gunner on special teams. By the time he graduated, he had returned 2 kicks, managed 7 tackles, and 55 punt returns for a total of 395 return yards. At his pro day, he managed solid numbers, which only helped his case to make an NFL roster in 2021. 

(All Numbers from

He would catch the attention of Raiders scouts, and ultimately end up signing a contract with Las Vegas before the 2021 season. He would receive a fairly large guarantee as an undrafted free agent, showing how much the Raiders valued him as a prospect. They would end up keeping him on the practice squad for the better part of two seasons including in 2021 when he was called up for five games but didn’t log any statistics during this time. 

In mid-September of 2022, he was placed on the practice squad injured reserve list, and this spelled the end of his time with the Raiders. Catching passes in a total of four preseason games he managed 7 receptions for 105 yards. He now joins the CFL for the first time. His ability to track the ball, change of direction, and acceleration after the catch is what made him so dangerous in college, and these same traits could be deadly in the wider, and longer field of the CFL. 

Carson Taylor, Defensive End, Philadelphia Stars USFL

Carson Taylor went from rotating with Ali Fayad as a starting defensive end for the Philadelphia Stars to being without a team in a matter of months due to what became the UFL merger. Taylor is an Arizona native, and another one of these prospects who stayed home for his college career attending Northern Arizona University, a fact he shared with his starting quarterback of the Stars in 2023. 

Before Taylor would leave NAU he would hold the record for most games played by a Lumberjack. Playing in 47 games for NAU he left school with 163 tackles and 19 sacks on his resume. His pro-day numbers were impressive, at 6’4 241 pounds he ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, had a 38-inch vertical leap, and put up 19 reps in the bench press. More importantly, he measured in with a wingspan of 79 ½ inches. 

After a decent college career, he declared for the 2022 NFL draft and wound up unselected. He would sign with the Chicago Bears. He made it into the preseason with the team where he appeared in 1 game but didn’t log any stats. He would join the USFL in 2023 signing with the Philadelphia Stars. 

Not only did he make the Stars roster, but he would go on to play in 9 games and start 7 rotating in and out of the lineup with Ali Fayad another first-year USFL Defensive Lineman. By the end of the season, Taylor had collected 24 tackles, and 3 sacks resulting in 19 yards lost by opposing offenses. 

Taylor is a unique prospect on the defensive line that brings the speed and agility to also play on many special teams units, and potentially even in some scenarios play snaps as a linebacker. He is the exact type of player the Redblacks have shown to prefer at defensive end. He will compete for snaps behind Lorenzo Mauldin IV, and Bryce Carter.

Davion Taylor, Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles NFL

Davion Taylor is a very interesting player. A 6’1 230 pound linebacker who hails from the state of Mississippi, he would go on to attend South Pike High School. He however never played high school football due to a belief structure in his religion. He would play basketball and run track, and shortly after turning 18 his mother finally permitted him to pursue football. 

He would attend Coahoma Community College where he would appear in just one game but collect 9 tackles including 2 for a loss. This would draw the attention of Colorado University where he would play football, and run track for the university. 

Playing in 24 games split between 2018 and 2019 he would collect 128 tackles, including 18 for a loss, with 2 

sacks. He deflected 6 passes and recovered 3 fumbles scoring 1 touchdown along the way. After the 2019 season, just THREE seasons into his football career he declared for the NFL Draft.

His performance at Colorado, coupled with one of the most impressive NFL Combine performances of any linebacker in the class that included a 4.39 40-yard dash, 1.55 10-yard split, 6.96 3-cone drill, 36-inch vertical leap, and 21 reps in the bench press helped him draw NFL attention. He would go on to be selected 103rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL draft. 

During his rookie season after playing in 12 games, and started 1 game before suffering an injury and being placed on injured reserve in early December. He was healthy again in late December but was not activated for the rest of the year. He would finish the year with 10 tackles. 

In 2021 he took on a larger role with the defense for the Eagles playing in 9 games with 6 starts. He would rack up 41 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles during the 2021 season however his season would again end on injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury in late November. 

In 2022 the Eagles’ patience had run thin on Taylor’s ability to stay healthy, and this time he was released in final cuts and brought back on the practice squad for the year. He would stick with the team for the entire season, and sign a futures deal for the 2023 season. He would spend all of camp with Philly once again before being released in August.

He would latch on with the Chicago Bears less than two weeks later and was waived in the final cuts. This time Arizona came calling signing him to their practice squad in late September. He was let go just two weeks later, but it was a short-lived hiatus as he returned in December finishing the season with Arizona. He was not offered a futures deal and became a free agent to pursue any opportunity for 2024. Having not gotten significant NFL interest as of late, Taylor turned to the Redblacks for his next opportunity. 

Taylor’s speed, agility, and ability to cover backs out of the backfield will make him a tremendous asset in the CFL. In speaking with members of the Redblacks they are very excited about the addition of Taylor, as they should be. Taylor’s skillset specifically his speed to get sideline to sideline, couldn’t be a better match for the CFL. 

Garrett Maag, Wide Receiver, Michigan Panthers UFL

Garrett Maag is already well-traveled in his short professional football career with stops in the NFL with his hometown Minnesota Vikings, UFL with the Michigan Panthers, and now in the CFL with the Ottawa Redblacks. Maag was added to the Redblacks negotiation list earlier this summer. 

His size will continue to make him an intriguing option for teams looking for a larger receiver to add to their wide receiver room. At 6’4 210 pounds, he showed an ability to go up and get jump balls in college, and that helped him on his way to 162 career receptions for 2,152 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The 6’4 wideout brings with him 4.5 speed, as well as solid agility having run a 6.9 3-cone drill, he also managed a 40.5 vertical leap, and 14 reps on the bench press. His 77 and 5/8 inch wingspan doesn’t hurt his ability to “Moss” receivers regularly. 

The Redblacks must have been paying close attention to the North Dakota Pro-day as they signed both Maag and Tyler Hoosman this offseason, just one year removed from the event. 

Curtis Weaver, Defensive End, Birmingham Stallions UFL

Curtis Weaver is yet another former USFL player on this list. It appears as if the Redblacks have placed a high value on previous professional experience this offseason in their pursuit of countless former USFL/XFL players since the merger. 

Weaver was let go by the Birmingham Stallions in final cuts from a very deep defensive line that also released a few shocking names. The 6’4 265 pound pass rusher, was set to be a UFL “rookie” in 2024 but didn’t make the roster, and now looks to the CFL for his next opportunity. 

The one-time MWC Defensive Player of the Year was also a two-time First-Team All-MWC honoree during his college career. He attended Boise State where he finished with a decorated career that didn’t stop at the three awards listed above. 

  • 2019 All-America First Team (Walter Camp, CBS Sports, The Sporting News)
  • 2019 All-America Second Team (AFCA, Associated Press, The Athletic, ESPN, FWAA, USA TODAY)
  • Bednarik Award Semifinalist (2019)
  • The Athletic Midseason All-American (2019)
  • Phil Steele All-America Fourth Team (2017)
  • SB Nation All-America Honorable Mention (2017)
  • FWAA Freshman All-American (2017)
  • USA TODAY Freshman All-American (2017)
  • Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year (2019)
  • 3x All-Mountain West First Team (2017-19)
  • 2x Academic All-Mountain West (Fall 2017, 2018)

He would find himself drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft before being waived/injured in late August. He was claimed off of waivers by the Browns where he would spend the majority of the next three NFL seasons. During his time with the Browns, he overlapped with another former USFL pass rusher Chris Odom. He was finally released for good in October of 2022. 

He originally worked out with the Vikings in mid-November of the 2022 season before being signed to a futures deal in January of 2023. He would stick with Minnesota into the preseason before being released in late August, after not appearing in a game. 

He steps into the beginning of his “NFL Alternative” career having played in a total of 3 preseason games, and 2 regular season games. 

Jaquan Amos, Defensive Back, Baltimore Ravens NFL

Jaquan Amos attended several schools during his college career spending time with Iowa State, Villanova, and Ball State University. During his time with Villanova he established himself as one of the top ball-hawks in the conference intercepting 8 passes, and batting down 25 more. He scored four touchdowns with Villanova’s defense as well, when he gets the ball in his hands, he will be looking for the endzone he has over 170 return yards on his 9 career interceptions, and this isn’t counting his fumble returns, one of which he managed to score on. 

The 6’0 194 pound defensive back showed a different side of his game with Ball State coming up in the box more to make plays in the running game and near the line of scrimmage. He would collect 95 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, 1 interception, and 6 pass deflections. Amos is extremely versatile and has the size and speed to play as a cornerback, nickelback, free, or strong safety. During the NFL Draft process, he had multiple teams express interest. 

He would eventually land with the Baltimore Ravens, who have long been known for their defense. He would stick with Baltimore into the preseason where he would play in their first game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was targeted once but didn’t allow a reception, and recorded two tackles. He was released just days later with an injury settlement. He wouldn’t receive another NFL workout until February when the Patriots brought him in but didn’t sign him. This left him to pursue his other options in 2024, namely the UFL and/or CFL. The uncertainty surrounding the UFL pushed multiple players toward the CFL. 

Elijah Blades, Defensive Back, Houston Roughnecks XFL

Elijah Blades is everything you want in a cornerback. He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s tall, has long arms, he’s great at shadowing a receiver, and more importantly he shows impeccable timing when he makes his move on the ball. 

At 6’1 190 pounds he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash and put up a 34 1/4 inch vertical. He has a 77 1/4-inch wing span as well. Blades has one of the most interesting collegiate careers I’ve ever seen. 

He played in 21 games at the JUCO level collecting 39 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 touchdown. He played 19 games at the FBS level split between three schools. He was dismissed from Texas A&M along the way as well but this led him to Buffalo where he had his best FBS season when he collected 3 starts and 27 tackles on the year. 

After his career and pro day, he began to attract NFL attention but ultimately was not selected in the 2023 draft process. He would end up trying his hand at the XFL signing with the Houston Roughnecks before the merger left him out of the UFL. This left him a free agent. After this he had multiple indoor/arena teams contact him but stuck to the plan and found a home in Ottawa for 2024. His ability to play cornerback or safety will be an asset in this secondary. 

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@SamShadySports Reporter
I am a writer and content creator focusing on alternative football leagues like the UFL, CFL, AFL, IFL, NAL, and AIF. If you like alternative football leagues, check out my personal platform Shady Sports Network on YouTube and all your favorite social media platforms.
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