Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign REC Michael O’Shea, four others

Courtesy: Okanagan Sun/CJFL

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have added family ties to the club by signing Canadian receiver Michael O’Shea, who is the son of head coach Mike O’Shea.

The six-foot, 183-pound target had a sensational season with the Okanagan Sun in 2022 as he was named a CJFL first-team All-Canadian as a return specialist, a second-team All-Canadian as a receiver, a British Columbia Football Conference (BCFC) all-star as a receiver, and the BCFC Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year.

The native of Mississauga, Ont. caught 28 passes for 483 yards and eight touchdowns along with 58 kick returns for 1,011 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored the game-winning touchdown in the Sun’s victory over the Regina Thunder in the Canadian Bowl.

O’Shea started his postsecondary career at the University of Guelph, his father’s alma mater. He spent two years with the Gryphons but didn’t record any statistics as he was buried on the depth chart behind veterans Kade Belyk, Zeph Fraser, and current CFL receivers Kiondre Smith and Kian Schaffer-Baker.

He moved out west to play for the Sun in 2021 and caught 23 passes for 563 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games. He also recorded 37 kick and punt returns for 557 yards and two touchdowns and was named a BCFC all-star at receiver and return specialist as well as a CJFL first-team All-Canadian at receiver.

O’Shea went unselected in the 2023 CFL Draft, which was held on May 2.

“He’s tough, he’s physical, good hands, not a burner but he looked good in the combine using the waggle and stemming guys up — he’s a solid receiver,” general manager Kyle Walters told 3DownNation.

Winnipeg also signed four American players, including quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, receivers Otis Lanier and Matt Cole, and defensive end/long-snapper Damian Jackson.

Pigrome had several stops during his collegiate career, playing at the University of Maryland (2016-19), Western Kentucky (2020), Ole Miss (2021), and Towson (2022). He threw for 1,638 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions with the Tigers this past season along with 134 carries for 574 yards and two touchdowns.

The five-foot-ten, 200-pound passer threw for 3,380 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with Maryland and Western Kentucky. He also ran the ball 281 times for 955 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Lanier split his collegiate career between Midwestern State University and Howard Payne University. He made 66 receptions for 955 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Yellow Jackets in 2022, leading the American Southwest Conference in receiving yards and all-purpose yards. He was a first-team All-American Southwest Conference (ASC) selection.

Cole went unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft but has since had stints with the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Commanders. The five-foot-ten, 197-pound target was named first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GVLC) at McKendree University in 2019 after catching 43 passes for 939 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Jackson made nine starts at defensive end at the University at Buffalo this past season, recording 27 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one fumble recovery. The six-foot-two, 263-pound defender was previously a member of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Navy SEALS. He will turn 31 in July.