Versatile national Jackson Bennett agrees to terms with Ottawa Redblacks

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Pending free agent Jackson Bennett has agreed to terms with the Ottawa Redblacks, per sources.

The native of Cumberland, Ont. was selected in the second round of the 2018 CFL Draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He played defensive back in his rookie season, recording 11 total tackles and a sack over 11 games.

The 26-year-old was moved to running back — his position in high school — for the 2019 season amid Hamilton’s ratio change that saw national Sean Thomas-Erlington emerge as the starting ball carrier. Bennett dressed for 16 games, making 29 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown as well as eight receptions for 72 yards.

Bennett returned to the Ticats in 2021 and made 17 carries for 72 yards as well as five receptions for 30 yards. He continued to play special teams in his depth role at running back, making 12 special teams tackles and one forced fumble.

The University of Ottawa product played safety, cornerback, halfback, and linebacker with the Gee-Gees and won the OUA’s President’s Trophy in 2017. He made 47 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, three pass break-ups, three interceptions, one touchdown, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one sack that season.

The Redblacks are expected to be major players in free agency when things officially get underway on Tuesday. Bennett is just one of many players the club will add to boost the club’s Canadian talent amid a number of other rumoured signings.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.