Christmas comes early: Riders sign defensive lineman DeMarcus Christmas, one other

Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American defensive lineman DeMarcus Christmas and American running back Troymaine Pope.

Christmas was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He went on to spent time with both the Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, though he never dressed for a regular season game.

The six-foot-three, 302-pound defender played five collegiate seasons at Florida State (2014-18) and suited up for 44 games as a Seminole. He made 106 career defensive tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 13 passes defended, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and a blocked punt. As a senior, he was named third-team All-ACC and his team’s Most Valuable Defensive Lineman.

Pope was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft. He played the last six years in the NFL and spent time with several teams and suited up for 24 regular season games with the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Chargers. Over those games, the 28-year-old ran 37 times for 140 yards while adding 11 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

The Alabama native spent three collegiate seasons (2013-15) at Jacksonville State, playing in 41 games for the Gamecocks. He recorded 486 carries for 3,130 yards and 33 touchdowns and was named to the 2015 All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team.