May 24, 2024

TOR @ MTL: Pregame notes

The Alouettes will play their first exhibition game at home against the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night at 7:30 pm ET. Most veterans will use this game to knock the rust off after a long winter, but it’s an important showcase for every newcomer.

So, who are some of the players to keep an eye on heading into this preseason contest? Here’s my list:

19 – Geoffrey Cantin-Arku – LB:

The Alouettes’ first-round pick in 2024 arrived in training camp late because he was attending Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp, but he’s been quick to adjust to his new surroundings. He’s a big, athletic linebacker that can hit and cover a lot of ground. He’ll likely make his way onto the field by playing on special teams to start the season, but don’t be surprised if he eventually starts playing some snaps on defence.

45 – Bryce Cosby – DB:

Cosby has been a playmaker in the secondary throughout training camp. In last Saturday’s scrimmage, the 25-year-old scored a touchdown off an interception and provided good coverage throughout the evening. As the Alouettes found out last year, you need to have good depth in the secondary because injuries will force you to use more than just the five guys you start the regular season with. The former Las Vegas Raider could stick with two solid showings in the preseason.

21 – Arthur Hamlin – DB:

Hamlin was the Alouettes’ third-round pick in 2024. The Colgate University product hasn’t looked out of place at his first professional camp. He’s a smart football player with good instincts and he can cover. The 24-year-old is one of several Canadians currently battling to be the backup safety to Marc-Antoine Dequoy.

38 – Smoke Monday – LB:

Monday was a stand-out safety at Auburn who was known for making big plays on defence. He tied the school record for most career interceptions returned for touchdowns during his time there, so you know he has a knack for finding the football. Due to his size/body type, the 24-year-old will likely play weak-side linebacker at the CFL level, so we’ll see how he adapts to that position in an actual game.

76 – Charleston Rambo – WR:

Rambo isn’t the heaviest receiver on the roster, but he is one of the fastest. Rambo, who signed with the Alouettes in the days leading up to camp, made an incredible catch down the right sideline during the team’s intra-squad game last weekend. One or two productive exhibition games could earn him a spot on the active roster or at least the practice squad.

35 – Stevie Scott III – RB:

Scott III made my list of players to watch heading into camp, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in Saturday’s game at home against Toronto. He’s a big running back that carries his weight well. He’s shown that he can run between the tackles but that he can also catch the ball out of the backfield if necessary. Head coach Jason Maas has already stated that the running back battle is wide open, which means that a solid camp combined with two strong preseason games could lead to early playing time for the first year Alouette.