The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed a number of notable college free agents in the month of May as training camps have begun. The Riders signed fullback Morgen Runge on May 8th. Runge played his college ball in Edmonton with the University of Alberta Golden Bears. This will be Runge’s first professional football contract. Runge is a native of Whitecourt, Alberta and is an undrafted free agent signing.
Runge played 8 games for the Golden Bears during the 2021 U Sports college season. He scored 1 touchdown on offense. He managed 2 solo tackles on the defensive side of the ball as well. Runge is 6’1 and just 25 years old. The Albertan is only the 2nd fullback currently signed to the Roughriders. Second year fullback Bruno LaBelle is the other. Runge should see action at fullback during the 2023 CFL season.
OL Phil Saleh
The Roughriders also added offensive lineman Phil Saleh on May 11th. Saleh played collegiately for the Fordham Rams from 2018 to 2022. According to Riderville.com, “The Illinois native is a three-time First-Team All-Patriot League offensive lineman (2020-22) and earned Second-Team honours in 2019.”
Saleh largely played right tackle while playing at Fordham. Saleh’s offensive line led the Patriot League in fewest quarterback sacks allowed during his time playing for the Rams. This will be Saleh’s first professional football experience.
OL Tre’Mond Shorts
The Riders went on to sign another big offensive lineman in Tre’Mond Shorts. Shorts played collegiately for the LSU Tigers. While playing at LSU he only allowed 1 quarterback sack through 14 games during the 2022 NCAA season. That type of quarterback protection will surely make Trevor Harris smile. At 6’5 & 6’4 Shorts and Saleh will present a towering line of defense for QB Trevor Harris and the other quarterbacks during training camp and perhaps into the 2023 CFL regular season.
LB T.J. Brunson
The Roughriders added former New York Giants draft pick T.J. Brunson on the 18th. Brunson is a linebacker and was drafted in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brunson played in 5 games for the Giants during the 2020 season recording 3 combined tackles. Ultimately, he tore his ACL and that ended his NFL dream. Brunson played his college football at South Carolina where he recorded 6 quarterback sacks and over 280 total tackles in his 4 college seasons.
P Adam Korsak
Most recently the Riders added punter Adam Korsak on May 19th. Korsak is a highly successful punter from Australia. He was the 3rd overall pick in this year’s CFL Global Draft. Korsak unsuccessfully tried to make the NFL trying out for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Korsak played for Rutgers in college and won the prestigious Ray Guy Award as the most outstanding punter in the NCAA. According to the Toronto Star, “Korsak also had 32 punts inside the opposition’s 20-yard line, third-best in the NCAA. He finished his tenure at Rutgers as the NCAA career leader in punts (349) and yards (15,318). ”
These flurry of free agent signings should make for some difficult decisions during the CFL pre-season for head coach Craig Dickenson. Dickenson had the worst season of his short CFL career last year and this season is going to prove to be a make it or break it type season for the Roughriders field marshal.
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