Lions re-sign four Canadians including running back Wayne Moore

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The B.C. Lions have re-signed four nationals to extensions for the 2021 season.

Running back Wayne Moore, offensive lineman Andrew Peirson, fullback Mario Villamizar and linebacker Adrian Clarke.

“These are four solid football players that we wanted to get signed early in the off-season,” Lions co-GM and head coach Rick Campbell said in a statement.

“Along with ensuring we have depth at a few key positions, this group also gives us a solid mixture of veteran experience and young talent hungry to compete from day one of training camp.”

Since Moore’s arrival in 2018, he has been a reliable special teams player and contributed out of the backfield with 19 carries for 86 yards. He has also added nine receptions for 91 yards. A second-round draft pick of the Montreal Alouettes in 2017, Moore also spent time on the Ottawa Redblacks before moving west. Moore rushed for 1,515 yards and 13 touchdowns in four seasons at McMaster University.

Peirson enters his third season in B.C. after spending most of 2019 on the practice squad. Known for his countless hours giving back in the local community, Peirson was the Lions’ 2019 nominee for the Tom Pate Memorial Award. The native of Kingston, Ontario originally joined the Lions as a undrafted free agent prior to 2018 camp and due to injuries served as the starting centre for five regular season contests plus the Eastern Semi-Final in Hamilton.

Villamizar is the only Lions draft pick from 2019 to appear in all 18 regular season games. He saw most of his action on special teams before taking over starting fullback duties in September and recording a pair of receptions for 13 yards. In four seasons at Wilfrid Laurier University, Villamizar caught passes for 191 yards and five touchdowns in 38 games while also playing a big role in pass protection.

Clarke most recently appeared in four games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2018. He was selected in the fourth round, 32nd overall by the Lions in the 2015 CFL Draft. Clarke has suited up in 50 games in orange over three seasons and was a force on special teams with 25 tackles. He had previously returned to the Lions as a free agent in January of 2020.

The Lions also added American running back De’Veon Smith.

The five-foot-11, 228-pound Smith spent the first part of 2020 with the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers and rushed for 365 yards on 90 carries in six games. Prior to his 2019 time with the Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos, Smith had NFL practice squad stints with Miami and Washington.

In 41 games over four years at the University of Michigan, Smith had 2,486 scrimmage yards and 23 touchdowns. His 107 yards led all rushers in the Wolverines’ 41-7 Citrus Bowl win over Florida to cap off the 2015 campaign.