January 27, 2012

Éric Deslauriers and 13 others sign on with the Als

MONTREAL – The Montreal Alouettes announced on Friday the signing of 14 players to two-year deals with the club, including non-import receiver Éric Deslauriers.

The team also signed three players selected at the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft: offensive tackle Anthony Barrette, defensive back Blaine Ruttan and guard Reed Alexander.

The other players to have inked two-year deals include receiver Travon Patterson, defensive back Vince Anderson, defensive tackle Tremaine Johnson, receiver Sidney Stewart, defensive end Daunte Akra, defensive back Daryl Townsend, defensive back Michael Carter, defensive end Chris Hodgson, receiver Trent Guy, and defensive end Ventrell Jenkins. Barrette, Alexander, Ruttan, Carter, Hodgson and Townsend are all non-imports.

Éric Deslauriers (6’4’’, 206 lbs.) will be back for a sixth season with the Alouettes in 2012. Last year, the 30-year-old receiver caught six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including Anthony Calvillo’s record-breaking 395th career TD pass against Toronto on July 15, making Calvillo the CFL’s all-time passing touchdown leader. Deslauriers was also on the receiving end of a 75-yard catch and run play resulting in a touchdown in the Eastern Semi-Final at Olympic Stadium against the Tiger-Cats.

Anthony Barrette (6’5″, 320 lbs.) attended the Alouettes training camp in 2011. The offensive tackle rejoined Concordia University for the final year of his college eligibility. The 25-year-old Verdun native later landed on the Alouettes practice roster once his CIS season ended. Under former Alouettes Gerry McGrath and Bryan Chiu, Barrette helped anchor a solid Stingers offensive line. He was a Quebec conference all-star and second team CIS all-Canadian in 2010 with the Stingers and was also a three-time all-star at Vanier College in the CEGEP AAA league.

Reed Alexander (6’3”, 292 lbs.) was drafted 31st overall by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2011 CFL Draft. The right guard elected to return to the University of Calgary for his fourth year of eligibility. The 24-year-old started all eight conference games and four playoff games, including the Vanier Cup, with the Dinos in 2010. Alexander was named a Canada West all-star for the first time in his career in 2011.

Blaine Ruttan (6’1”, 198 lbs.), a linebacker and defensive back, was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 CFL Canadian draft by the Alouettes. He returned to play his senior year at Carson-Newman University last season and will be back at the Alouettes’ training camp in June.

Travon Patterson (5’9”, 175 lbs.) joined the Alouettes on October 13, 2011 and was placed on the practice roster. Patterson, a receiver and kick-returner, signed a rookie free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers in 2011. He ended his collegiate career at the University of Colorado where he caught 20 passes for 127 yards in eight games after transferring from the University of Southern California.

Vince Anderson (6’2’’, 205 lbs.) joined the Alouettes’ practice roster on October 6, 2011. The defensive back was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following year, suiting up for three games with the Bucs in 2010.

Tremaine Johnson (6’2”, 295 lbs.) joined the Alouettes on October 6, 2011. The defensive tackle was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings in 2009 and spent the next two seasons on Minnesota’s practice roster. The 26-year-old played his college football at Louisiana State University, tallying 43 tackles (15 solos), seven tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks in his college career.

Sidney Stewart (6’1’’, 190 lbs.) joined the Alouettes on October 13, 2011 on the team’s practice roster. The wide receiver started all 13 games at Northwestern University in 2010 and finished second on the team with 454 yards and 40 receptions that season. He ended his college career with 99 catches for 1,058 yards and three touchdowns.

Daunte Akra (6’2”, 227 lbs.) attended the Alouettes training camp in 2011 before rejoining the team midseason on the practice roster. The 25-year-old defensive end was signed as a free agent rookie by the Detroit Lions prior to joining Montreal. In 2010, he started all 11 games for Wayne State University and recorded 29 solo tackles for the Warriors.

Daryl Townsend (6’1”, 198 lbs.) joined the Alouettes on October 6, 2011 and saw his first CFL action in the Eastern Division Semi-Final at Olympic Stadium. The defensive back attended the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ training camp in 2011 and spent the first week of the season on their practice roster before being added to Winnipeg’s practice roster. The 26-year-old played his university football for the Windsor Lancers where he was fifth in the Ontario University Athletics with 44 solo tackles.

Michael Carter (5’10”, 175 lbs.) was drafted 19th overall by the BC Lions in the 2011 CFL Draft. The defensive back most recently played four games with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2011. He played his college football for the University of Maryland with the Terrapins.

Chris Hodgson (6’3”, 260 lbs.), a walk-on transfer with the St. Mary’s Huskies, opted to play football as a defensive end in 2010 after having played CIS hockey with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds for three seasons.

Trent Guy (5’8”, 171 lbs.) signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2010 and spent the entire season on their practice roster. The receiver played in 42 games at the University of Louisville and earned All-Big East Conference honors twice as a return specialist. The former Cardinal totaled 43 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns and returned 85 kickoffs for 1,980 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Ventrell Jenkins (6’2”, 285 lbs.) was signed as a free agent by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on May 31, 2011 and was on the team’s practice roster. The defensive end signed with the AFL’s Jacksonville Sharks on February 9, 2010 and amassed 11 tackles, 4.5 quarterback sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 10 games. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills on May 1, 2009 and by the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals on August 25, 2009.

Crawford retires

Non-import safety Tad Crawford announced his early retirement after just one season with the Alouettes. The Burlington, Ontario native rotated in the lineup regularly and played in nine games with Montreal before sustaining a concussion in Hamilton on September 5. He missed the remainder of the season.