Ottawa Redblacks sign QB Matthew McKay, eight others

Photo courtesy: Elon University

The Ottawa Redblacks have signed American quarterback Matthew McKay.

The six-foot-four, 212-pound passer completed 61.0 percent of his passes at Elon University, an FCS program located in Elon, N.C., for 2,709 yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also ran the ball 119 times for 458 yards and three touchdowns.

The native of Raleigh, N.C. started his collegiate career at North Carolina State University where he threw for 997 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He also rushed for 99 yards and five touchdowns with the Wolfpack.

The 24-year-old transferred to Montana State University in 2020, though the season was cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He went 9-2 as a starter the following season, throwing for 2,037 yards, 17 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also rushed for 316 yards and two touchdowns.

McKay ran a 4.90-second forty-yard dash at his pro day in 2023 along with a 4.72-second shuttle, 7.26-second three-cone drill, 114-inch broad jump, and 29.5-inch vertical. He has since had a stint with the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL.

Ottawa also signed eight other players, including American receivers Sam James Jr. and Eli Stove, Global offensive lineman Hector Zepeda, American defensive linemen Malcolm Lee and Jermaine McDaniel, and American defensive backs Yusuf Corker, Dillon Thomas, and Bennett Williams.

James Jr. made 190 catches over 2,229 yards and 15 touchdowns over five seasons at West Virginia University and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a redshirt freshman in 2019. The six-foot, 176-pound target signed with the Los Angeles Rams after going unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft but was waived before training camp got underway.

Stove caught 136 passes for 1,186 yards and six touchdowns over five collegiate seasons at Auburn University and carried the ball 55 times for 554 yards and four touchdowns. The native of Niceville, Fla. signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after going unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft but was waived after suffering a torn ACL. He has since had a stint in the USFL as a member of the New Orleans Breakers.

Zepeda was a first-round pick in the 2022 CFL Global Draft out of the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey. The six-foot-four, 290-pound blocker has also been drafted by the Galgos de Tijuana of the Liga-de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA).

Lee made 78 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, four pass knockdowns, one interception, and one forced fumble over 44 career collegiate games at the University of Kansas. The six-foot-five, 255-pound defender was born in Omaha, Neb.

McDaniel made 10 total tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks over seven games at Appalachian State University as a redshirt freshman in 2018. The six-foot-three, 235-pound defender transferred to North Carolina A&T in 2019 and played three seasons with the team, making 22 total tackles, eight sacks, one pass knockdown, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Corker went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft out of the University of Kentucky before signing with the New York Giants. The six-foot, 197-pound native of McDonough, Ga. has also been a member of the practice squad with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Thomas made 56 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, four pass knockdowns, and one interception over 11 games at Missouri State University. The six-foot-two, 189-pound native of Kansas City, Mo. previously played at Northern Illinois University where he made 122 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, 11 pass knockdowns, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.

Williams finished his collegiate career at the University of Oregon in 2022 after stints at the University of Illinois and the College of San Mateo. The native of Campbell, Calif. signed with the Miami Dolphins after going unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft but was waived partway through training camp.

The Redblacks have a bye during the first week of the 2024 regular season before hosting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday, June 13 at TD Place Stadium.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.