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The Montreal Alouettes announced on Thursday that the club has signed American running back James Wilder Jr. to a one-year deal.
Wilder Jr. (6’3”, 232 lbs.) played three seasons in the CFL, all with the Toronto Argonauts. The 27-year-old running back took the CFL by storm in 2017 as he was voted the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie following a season where he rushed for 872 yards on 122 carries, while scoring five majors. He also added 533 receiving yards on 51 receptions. He completed his rookie season by hoisting the Grey Cup, following the 105th edition of the game.
“We have been accumulating the good news these past few weeks and we can now add this one to the list,” declared Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “James is filling one our needs on offence and we are confident that he will develop a chemistry with Vernon Adams Jr. all while taking some pressure off of him with the success he will have.”
Member of the NCAA BCS National Championship Florida State Seminoles in 2014, Wilder Jr. played 44 games in the CFL, amassing 2,027 rushing yards on 361 carries (5.6 yard average) and nine touchdowns. He also caught 154 passes for 1,487 yards and five majors.
“I am happy to join the Alouettes. Coach Jones brings so much energy to the table and I am looking forward to be being a part of the mix. The team played exciting football last season and I can’t wait to join the group already in place,” said Wilder Jr. “All the pieces seem to be falling in place and my team will continue to progress and win football games.”
In only 13 games last season, the Tampa, FL native rushed for 464 yards, good for ninth place in the CFL, while making 58 catches for 415 yards, finishing the season with 879 yards of total offence. Prior to joining the CFL, he was a member of the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The team also announced it has released quarterback Antonio Pipkin.