Redblacks re-sign American linebacker Frankie Griffin, add eight others

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks made a flurry of moves on Friday, including re-signing American linebacker Frankie Griffin.

The 27-year-old dressed for eight games in his second season as a Redblack, recording 34 defensive tackles and another on special teams. The Texas State product first joined the team in 2021, making eight defensive tackles and five special teams tackles in eight games.

In addition, Ottawa also signed eight players to contracts, including Global defensive back Edris Jean-Alphonse, American linebacker Patrick Nelson, American receiver Malik Williams, American defensive backs Isaiah Huff and Al Young, American defensive linemen Wallace Cowins and Bryce Rodgers, and Canadian defensive lineman Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal.

A native of Francs, Jean-Alphonse was drafted in the second round of the 2022 Global Draft after playing collegiately at Laval. He spent the majority of his rookie season on the practice squad, dressing for four games and recording no statistics.

Nelson was acquired by the club via trade from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in July. The SMU product would play five games, registering three defensive tackles and two special teams tackles before finishing the year on the practice roster.

Williams joins the team after playing 73 games over five seasons at Appalachian State, where he caught 194 passes for 2,409 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed 112 times for 534 yards and three more scores. The five-foot-10, 185-pound receiver was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2022 but did not make the roster.

Huff spent three seasons at Assumption University, suiting up in 28 games. The five-foot-eight, 185-pound corner registered 55 career tackles, 30 pass breakups and four interceptions, including a pick-six, while chipping in with 1,620 kick return yards and a major on 54 attempts. He was named a Don Hansen second-team All-American in 2022.

Young spent six years at Jackson State, playing in 43 games for the Tigers. The five-foot-11, 195-pound cover man registered 79 total tackles, seven interceptions and 25 pass breakups in his college career, signing as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 2022.

Cowins began his college career at Coastal Carolina, before transferring to North Alabama for his final three seasons. The six-foot-four, 240-pound edge rusher played 26 games for the Lions, amassing 138 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, five batted passes and four forced fumbles.

Rodgers played 54 games over six seasons at UC Davis, making 174 career tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two field goal blocks. A three-time All-Big Sky selection, the six-foot-two, 309-pound defensive tackle signed with the Atlanta Falcons following the 2022 NFL Draft but failed to make the roster.

Lemieux-Cardinal joins the Redblacks after an outstanding collegiate career for the Montreal Carabins. The 26-year-old went unselected in the 2022 CFL Draft despite being named a first-team All-Canadian and the RSEQ Most Outstanding Lineman in 2021, but returned to school and earned second-team All-Canadian status in his final season. The six-foot-five, 252-pound pass rusher posted a career-high 17 tackles and 5.5 sacks in eight games in 2022.