The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed five Canadian players, including fullback Morgan Runge, offensive linemen Zack Fry and Evan Floren, and linebackers Matt Dean and Nick Thomas.
Runge went unselected in the 2023 CFL Draft but signed with the Riders shortly thereafter and participated in training camp before being sent back to the University of Alberta for his final year of U Sports eligibility. The former Edmonton Huskie made 12 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown over three seasons with the Golden Bears while also recording 10 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Fry was a second-round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft who dressed in four games in 2023, spending most of the season on the practice roster. In 2022, he participated in training camp with the Riders before returning Western University for another season of U Sports eligibility.
The six-foot-six, 304-pound blocker helped the Mustangs lead the OUA in multiple offensive categories in 2022, including points per game (45.0), total offence (4,106 yards), rushing yards (2,336), rushing yards per game (292.0) and yards per rush (8.2). He was also named an OUA all-star and second-team U Sports All-Canadian.
Floren was a seventh-round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft out of Queen’s University and took part in training camp with Saskatchewan before returning to the Golden Gaels. The six-foot-four, 300-pound blocker was named an OUA all-star this past year after helping his team finish first in the conference with an average of 242.3 rushing yards per game along with 20 rushing touchdowns.
Dean was a third-round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft out of York University who spent most of the season on Saskatchewan’s practice roster. He dressed for four games and made one special teams tackle. The 24-year-old was named an OUA all-star in 2022 as well as the Lions’ Most Valuable Player.
Thomas was a seventh-round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft who attended training camp with the Riders before returning to U Sports. He made 140 total tackles over 32 games with the University of Manitoba Bison along with 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three pass deflections, and three forced fumbles.