B.C. Lions sign Regina Rams standout Ryder Varga, four other Canadians

Photo courtesy: Regina Rams/Piper Sports Photography

The B.C. Lions have signed Canadian linebacker Ryder Varga following a standout career with the University of Regina Rams.

The six-foot-three, 230-pound defender made 157 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and four forced fumbles over 32 careers games with Regina. He was named a Canada West all-star this past season as well as the conference’s Outstanding Defensive Player. He attended training camp with the Lions earlier this year before returning to U Sports for his final year of collegiate eligibility.

B.C. also signed Canadian defensive lineman Adam Wallace, the club’s eighth-round selection in the 2022 CFL Draft. The native of North Bay, Ont. dressed for 18 games with the Ottawa Gee-Gees and recorded 13 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

The Lions also signed a trio of Canadians to contract extensions, including offensive lineman Tyler Packer, defensive lineman Riley Pickett, and linebacker Jacob Firlotte.

Packer spent most of his rookie season on the practice roster, though he dressed for two games in a depth role. The former Calgary Dino was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft and was named Canada West’s Rookie of the Year in 2017 as well as a Canada West all-star in 2018.

Pickett dressed for 10 games as a rookie this past year and made one defensive tackle and two special teams tackles. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft out of the University of Saskatchewan where he recorded 65 solo tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and six pass knockdowns over 30 career games. He previously won three CJFL championships as a member of the Saskatoon Hilltops.

Firlotte was originally a seventh-round pick of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2018 CFL Draft and dressed for one game with the Lions this past year, spending most of the season on the practice roster. The native of Abbotsford, B.C. previously played for the Langley Rams of the CJFL and recorded 11 defensive tackles and one interception with the team.