Redblacks’ Diontae Spencer getting NFL interest

Diontae Spencer put together his best CFL season with Ottawa and it’s drawn NFL interest as workouts are being scheduled for the five-foot-eight, 163-pounder.

After spending two seasons in Toronto, Spencer signed a one-year deal to play for the Redblacks in 2017 and he exploded. The 25-year-old made 71 receptions for 922 yards and six touchdowns while serving as one of Ottawa’s main return men turning 70 punt returns into 929 yards (13.3 average) and one touchdown 25 kick-off returns netted 607 yards and five missed field goals returns for 260 yards, one coming all the way back 113 yards for a major. He was the East Division nominee for Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.

Spencer ended the regular season by making a new CFL mark for all-purpose yards in a single game. How he ended up at 496 in total: 133 yards receiving, 165 kick-off return yards, 169 punt return yards and 29 missed field goal return yards. When Spencer played for McNeese State University he had one game with 365 yards and five touchdowns, but never did he approach 500 yards. He gave the jersey from the record-setting performance to his mom.

At McNeese State’s pro day in 2014, Spencer ran a blazing 4.27 40-yard dash, recorded a 40-inch vertical and a 10-foot, three-inch broad jump. He went undrafted in the NFL that year, signed with the Rams but didn’t make the team and then caught on in Toronto the following year.

The diminutive playmaker made headlines across North America after he scored a touchdown in the East semifinal and broke out the limbo with his teammates.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

That raised or lowered the bar for TD celebrations, but Spencer’s NFL opportunities are on the way up.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (586 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

4 Comments on Redblacks’ Diontae Spencer getting NFL interest

  1. A little real fast guy. A dime a dozen down south but his CFL experience should be a big plus for him in a NFL tryout.

  2. Again , these so and so is getting NFL interest stories are pretty much MUCH ADO about nothing . Yes , the timing isn right for NFL teams outn ofm the playoffs for sure to begin planning for next year, and playoff teams with a specific need working out CFL player s that might fill a temporary NFL position need, ie explosive returner , under 26-27, never having been on a NFL roster so no NFL pension issues, and not a LOT of film available to NFL opponents so a 1 game playoff wonder in say the NCF championship game is a matchb . Then the player is cut or placed on practice roster after the nfl teams season is done !!! It has to be EXCEPTIONAL talent, that has blossomed and ripped up the CFL to actually make a career of it in the NFL , see Cam Wake !!! as that example. Great that some of these finge players can make a few extra bucks flirting with an very short NFL career, but NONE of them are going to become household NFL superstars. Ergo articles like this are just FLUFF!!!! Most CFL teams have 2-4 guys a year that get a NFL peek if the do well on their CFL teams for a season or so. Kind of like looking at some KHL guys floating back to maybe be a short term solution for a NHL club with a weak draft history , or weak minor league system for call ups.

    • I don’t get why you’re so worked up. Ottawa lost three DBs last year. Those guys didn’t become superstars but they were still lost to Ottawa and it affected their season, so it’s certainly newsworthy. I’m interested in knowing who I might lose and who I might not.

      Ellingson has a few workouts and came back. Jeff Richards Jr. barely played here and has stuck in the NFL. Never know, but if it affects my CFL club, I want to know about it.

      As for Spencer, 5’8″ sounds generous but some undersized guys manage to make it so who knows?

    • Longtimelurker // December 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm //

      would you rather make 6000 USD/week on an NFL practice roster and maybe even play or in the CFL (lets assume 80-95,000 CAD/70,000 USD for his next contract). Lets extend this and he plays for a couple of years in the NFL and earns a pension. Is it worth the chance knowing your a high value player in the CFL with almost every team would want you.

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