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Herb Zurkowsky of The Montreal Gazette has a feature on Brandon London whose return on Sunday for the Alouettes was marked by 5 catches for 118 yards.
"I'm excited for London," Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo said. "That kid has the potential to be a beast, because of his size, work ethic and the fact he's fast. He has the total package."
Training camps have begun in the Canadian Football League with several former UMass Minutemen on the rosters.
Wide receiver Brandon London
returns to the Montreal Alouettes while cornerback Sean Smalls
returns to the Toronto Argonauts. Defensive tackle Brandon Collier
has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after an injury forced his free agent bid with Philadelphia to end during training camp last summer. Defensive end Keron Williams
looks to continue his strong CFL career with the defending Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions.
It was announced yesterday that UMass alum Brandon London has re-signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League after an impressive 2011 campaign.
Brandon London had his first Canadian Football League touchdown reception yesterday as his Montreal Alouettes won big, 43-13, over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He finished the game with two catches for 29 yards and the score.
Andrew Soong of The Suburban, an English paper in Quebec, has a short feature on Brandon London who has been enjoying a strong start with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.
The Vancouver Sun has capsules on the Canadian Football League's East Division Teams. Focusing on the Montreal Alouettes, the paper lists Brandon London as one of the newcomers on the team to keep an eye on this year.
"Newcomer to watch: At six-foot-four and 210 pounds, Brandon London will make an inviting target for quarterback Anthony Calvillo. After stops in the NFL with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, London is eager to play and welcomes the opportunity the Als have provided."
On the other side of ball, Sean Smalls is projected to start at corner back for the Toronto Argonauts this year.
"Strengths: The defensive unit, which allowed the fewest points in the league last season, will only have one new starter as Wroten takes over at tackle. Sean Smalls, who did a good job replacing the injured Willie Middlebrooks late last year, will start at the boundary corner spot."
On Saturday, CFL teams had to trim the preseason rosters of training camp as the regular-season begins this week. Brandon London made the cut and will be seeing action this Thursday in the Montreal Alouettes' season-opener. An injury to Kerry Watkins, one of the Alouettes' top receivers, will allow London to further his case as one of the team's top wideouts.
"After four years of hearing 'no', . . . I'm thankful," London said. "I can't wait until Thursday. I'll bring a hard attitude and work ethic. I'm going to work and play my ass off."
Brandon London has made a serious bid for a regular receiving job with the Montreal Alouettes.
The second-year wide receiver caught six passes for 145 yards and a touchdown as the Grey Cup champion Alouettes downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27-15 in CFL pre-season action on Thursday night.
And while the six-foot-four London shone, so did five-foot-nine newcomer Bo Bowling with seven catches for 67 yards and a TD as three Alouettes quarterbacks went to the air in the first exhibition test for both teams.
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Anton McKenzie had two tackles to help the BC Lions blank Calgary 24-0 in the Canadian Football Preseason Opener on Wednesday night.
Brandon London and the Montreal Alouettes will be in action tonight, while Sean Smalls and the Toronto Argonauts hit the field on Saturday afternoon.
Keron Williams and the BC Lions will head to the Calgary Stampeders on Wednesday, while Sean Smalls and the Toronto Argonauts will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday to kick-off the Canadian Football League's pre-season schedule.
Smalls was also mentioned in the Toronto Sun
yesterday in an article highlighting the depth of the Argos secondary.
Brandon London continues to impress the coaching staff of the CFL Montreal Alouettes during the start of Training Camp. In the Day 4 Camp Report, London is mentioned for "steadily improving and taking advantage of his height and frame to make big catches."
Another receiver who has been steadily improving and taking advantage of his height and frame to make big catches is Brandon London. Having played on the Montreal Alouettes' practice roster last season, London appears determined to have a greater impact in 2011.
"If I do what I'm supposed to do and make the team, we could line-up on some plays and be 6'4"-6'5" across the board. With the small corners in this league, we could be dangerous. When practicing, I like it when the quarterbacks throw me the ball high up in the air," said London who has also played with the New York Giants.
Last year, he joined the Alouettes in the middle of the season, without having truly mastered the playbook. Now he appears much more comfortable in his role and knows what to expect.
"My body hates that I came in early for rookie camp, but my mind loves it. I was able to learn the plays and it's helping me get a better understanding regarding what we are doing," he added.
The Toronto Star
has a brief update from yesterday's Toronto Argonauts training camp session giving praise to Sean Smalls for several great plays on defense.
The Argos have a photo gallery
up on their site from the practices. Smalls is No. 25 in white.
Sean Gordon of The Globe And Mail has a piece on the Montreal Alouettes wide receivers and offense as CFL training camps enter their third day of work. Along with London, the Alouettes feature WR's Dallas Baker (formerly of the Steelers) and Jerry Porter (who played in a Super Bowl for the Raiders). The group is also among the biggest in the league.
The first and most obvious thing is that these guys are big - really big.
The worse news for CFL pass defences is that they're also fast, strong, and have all logged time on pro football's biggest stage, the NFL.
In a case of the rich getting richer, the reigning Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes have brought in a cadre of imposing, experienced receivers to fill the considerable void left by future Hall of Famer Ben Cahoon, who retired after last season.
Brandon London, formerly of the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, is listed at 6 foot 4, 210 pounds; Dallas Baker, another former Steeler, is 6 foot 3, 210; Prechae Rodriguez, who most recently played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, is 6 foot 5, 208, and Jerry Porter, who played in a Super Bowl for the Oakland Raiders, is 6 foot 2, 220.
We have a couple of stories on Sean Smalls who returns this season to the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL.
Smalls started the last three games of the season last year and is in the mix as one of the top cornerback's on the squad.
No lockout in the CFL means things are already underway in Training Camps to the North. Brandon London earned some praise after yesterday's practice for the Montreal Alouettes.
Although the heat was overwhelming at times, it didn't stop receivers Jamel Richardson, Dallas Baker and Tim Maypray from making a number of spectacular catches throughout the day. Brandon London also took advantage of the opportunity and made several highlight-reel receptions of his own.
While the NFL may be dealing with lockout issues, the Canadian Football League (CFL) is scheduled to start training camps on Sunday. Brandon London will be among the Montreal Allouettes in camp as they prepare to defend back-to-back Grey Cup Championships.
Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette has a couple of items to keep in mind during the preseason.
7. But can they play basketball?: If the Als' objective was to
get taller at receiver, they've succeeded. S.J. Green, technically, will
be in Ben Cahoon's old position on the field - and Green's 6-foot-3.
So, too, is Jamel Richardson. And the Als have added 6-foot-5 Prechae
Rodriguez, 6-foot-3 Dallas Baker and 6-foot-2 Jerry Porter. Returning
from the practice roster is 6-foot-4 Brandon London. Calvillo should be
able to simply throw the ball up and let his receivers go after it,
Former UMass star defensive lineman Keron Williams thinks his best football is yet to come -- and the B.C. Lions must have believed him, because they've extended his contract with the CFL team through the 2013 season.
Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun
UMass' Brandon London is with the Montreal Alouettes and will have a chance to win the CFL's Grey Cup this Sunday in Edmonton. London is in this photo from the Edmonton Sun. London is in the jersey No. 24 on the left. Montreal plays Saskatchewan at 6 p.m., on Sunday.
Here's your weekly look at UMass' pros in football:
In the NFL
• The Jets won their third game in a row in dramatic last-second fashion, beating the Texans 30-27
. James Ihedigbo had four tackles for the Jets on defense and special teams. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive again.
With the Jaguars, Jeremy Cain snapped six times in a 24-20 win over Cleveland.
Matt Lawrence continues to be on the physically unable to perform list with the Ravens. Victor Cruz is on injured reserve with the Giants. Jeremy Horne is on the practice squad with the Chiefs as is Jeromy Miles with the Bengals.
In the CFLBrandon London will have a chance to win the Grey Cup next weekend with the Montreal Alouettes, as they beat the Toronto Argos 48-17 in the Eastern Final on Sunday. London didn't play in the win, as he's injured.
In The UFLMarcel Shipp will have a chance to win the UFL title next weekend, on Saturday at 11 a.m. He played close to his college home in Hartford with the Las Vegas Locos, in a 27-14.
Shipp had just 12 yards on 11 carries for the Locos.
Checking in on UMass products in the pro football ranks.
IN THE NFLIn the Jacksonville Jaguars' miracle win of the Houston Texans, 31-24, Jeremy Cain snapped 10 times on kicks and punts for the Jags.
In the New York Jets' second straight road OT win, 26-20 at Cleveland, James Ihedigbo had three tackles including a 6-yard sack on Colt McCoy. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive for the Jets.
Matt Lawrence remains on PUP with the Ravens, who lost to the Falcons, 26-21. Victor Cruz' Giants lost to Cowboys, 33-20 in Jason Garrett's debut as Cowboys head coach.
Jeremy Horne remains on the practice squad with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jeromy Miles on the PS with the Cincinnati Bengals.
IN THE CFL:In the CFL Western Semifinals, the BC Lions dropped a 41-38 OT game to Saskatchewan. UMass' Keron Williams had a huge game with three sacks and four tackles for BC and Anton McKenzie also made four tackles but BC's season ended.
In the CFL Eastern Semifinals, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with Shannon James lost to the Toronto Argos 16-13. James didn't make a play and finishes with the season with 11 solo tackles.
UMass' other CFL player Brandon London, plays for Montreal, which had a bye into the Eastern Final as the Alouettes will play Toronto next weekend.
IN THE UFLSteve Baylark scored a touchdown and ran for 30 yards as the Sacramento Mountain Lions crushed Omaha, 41-3.
The Las Vegas Locos and Marcel Shipp had a bye week.
Here's an update on UMass alums in the pro football ranks.
In The NFL: With the Mew York Jets, James Ihedigbo played a bunch on defense and special teams with one tackle and called a key timeout for the Jets in their comeback 23-20 OT win over the Detroit Lions. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive.
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz took time out while on injured reserve to come to UMass' win over Maine on Saturday at McGuirk Stadium.
Matt Lawrence is close to returning to action with the Baltimore Ravens, as his team pulled off a 26-10 win over Miami Dolphins. Lawrence will practice for the first time Monday, coach John Harbaugh said.
Jeremy Cain and the Jaguars had a bye week.
In The CFL: Three UMass products saw action as the BC Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 23-21. Anton McKenzie made four tackles for BC while Keron Williams didn't have any stops. Shannon James didn't have a tackle for the Ti-Cats.
Brandon London made his CFL debut with the Montreal Alouettes as his team suffered a 30-4 loss to the Toronto Argos. London didn't have a catch but made a tackle on special teams.
In The UFL:
UMass' all-time rushing leaders matched up as the Sacramento Mountain Lions beat the Las Vegas Locos, 27-24. Las Vegas clinched a berth in the UFL Championship in last week's win at Omaha, but Sacramento dominated play throughout the opening half. Marcel Shipp had four carries for 10 yards and a catch for nine yards. Steve Baylark had a carry for Sacramento.
Here's our weekly look at UMass products in pro football.
NFL: In the Jaguars' 35-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Jeremy Cain snapped 10 times on kicks and punts.
In the New York Jets 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, James Ihedigbo made the game's opening tackle on a the Jets kickoff. He also played in some secondary packages. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive, but was visible on the sidelines.
UMass also has alums on practice squads: WR Jeremy Horne with the Kansas City Chiefs and DB Jeromy Miles with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Additionally WR Victor Cruz is on the injured reserve list with the New York Giants while RB Matt Lawrence is on the physically unable to perform list with the Baltimore Ravens.
CFL:The BC Lions picked up a 23-17 win over Saskatchewan as both UMass alums Anton McKenzie and Keron Williams each had three tackles. The Lions are making a push for the postseason.
With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a 55-24 loss to Calgary, Shannon James played for his new team the Ti-Cats vs his old team, the Stamps.
Brandon London continues to be on the Montreal Alouettes practice squad.
UFL:All-time leading rusher Marcel Shipp scored his UFL-best fifth TD as the Las Vegas Locos beat Omaha, 24-10. Shipp had 30 rushing yards.
Steve Baylark didn't carry the ball for the Sacramento Mountain Lions in a 27-26 loss to Hartford.
Here's a recap of UMass products in action in pro football this past weekend:
In the NFL:
In the New York Jets huge comeback win over the Denver Broncos, 24-20, James Ihedigbo played defense and on special teams. Vladimir Ducasse was not active, but got plenty of TV on the sidelines.
In the Kansas City Chiefs' 35-31 loss to the Houston Texans in a thriller, Jeremy Horne played on special teams and made the first tackle of the second half on the opening kickoff. He also had one pass thrown his way, that was incomplete.
On Monday night football, Jeremy Cain snapped on all punts and kicks for the Jaguars in their loss to the Tenneesse Titans.
If you missed it Victor Cruz was played on injured reserve by the Giants and Matt Lawrence remains on physically unable to perform for the Ravens.
In the CFL:Two alums were part of the BC Lions narrow 31-28 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. Anton McKenzie had five tackles and Keron Williams made two stops.
With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, alum Shannon James had a tackle in a 30-3 win over the Toronto Argos.
Brandon London is on the practice squad with the Montreal Alouettes, who beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 22-19.
In the UFL:UMass' top career rushers faced off and Marcel Shipp's Las Vegas Locos got the best of Steve Baylark's Sacramento Mountain Cats, 26-3. Shipp scored the game's only offensive touchdown on a five-yard run up the middle in the fourth quarter. He finished with 15 carries for 69 yards. Baylark has his best game to date with 46 yards on four carries including a long of 29 yards.
After playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in training camp, UMass alum Brandon London has signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. The former Giant and Dolphin has been trying to catch on with an NFL team since the season started and has found a home in Canada.
With the injury bug taking a bite out of the Montreal Alouettes the last two weeks, the team announced Wednesday the addition of five more players to its practice roster. The quintet, all imports, includes: defensive tackle Ty Steinkuhler, running back Tracy Ford, wide receiver Brandon London, and kickers-punters Sam Swank and Colt David.
London, a University of Massachusetts alumnus, has spent some time in the NFL with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and, most recently, Pittsburgh Steelers. The 25-year-old was released by the Steelers in early September. Appearing in 49 games over four seasons with UMass, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver amassed 2,022 yards on 148 catches. The latter total currently ranks third in the university's record books.
UMass alum Keron Williams
had a great game for the BC Lions this past weekend. He was awarded a game-ball by the Province
. WIlliams had four tackles and TFL in a 16-14 win over Winnipeg
on Saturday. Fellow UMass alum Anton McKenzie
had a team-best six tackles for BC.
For the year, Williams has 31 tackles and 4 sacks. McKenzie has 39 tackles and a sack.
In the Chiefs' 16-14 win over the Browns, WR Jeremy Horne made hi on-field NFL debut in No. 11 and made a tackle on special teams in the fourth quarter.
DB James Ihedigbo played great on special teams in the New York Jets' 28-14 win over the Patriots. OL Vladimir Ducasse was inactive for the second week in a row.
LS Jeremy Cain snapped three times all on kicks in the Jaguars' 38-13 loss to the Chargers. Interestingly, the Jaguars never punted in the game as they scored, fumbled, were intercepted or failed on a fourth down conversion.
With the Giants, in their game against the Colts, WR Victor Cruz is active in place of WR Ramses Barden, who wasn't much of a factor in Week 1 and had a ball bounce off his hands for an interception.
In the CFL, the BC Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-31 as a trio of UMass alums saw action. For BC, LB Anton McKenzie racked up five tackles and DE Keron Williams made three tackles. LB Shannon James didn't have a tackle for Hamilton.
In the UFL, the Sacramento Mountain Lions lost to the Hartford Colonials 27-10. TB Steve Baylark didn't have a carry for the Mountain Lions.
The Las Vegas Locos lost to the Florida Tuskers 27-20. RB Marcel Shipp had 13 carries for 48 yards for the Locos.
In the CFL, UMass alums Anton McKenzie and Keron Williams saw their BC Lions (1-5 overall) lose to the Calgary Stampeders, 27-22
on Saturday. McKenzie had two tackles while Williams had three tackles and a sack.
In the BC Lions' 28-25 loss
to the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night, UMass alums Anton McKenzie (five) and Keron Williams (two) had strong games, combining for seven tackles. On the recap, you can vote for McKenzie for the game's "Prime Time Player." McKenzie didn't finish the game, due to a concussion according to The Province
The Vancouver Sun
has a question and answer feature with Keron Williams. He recalls a three-sack game while at UMass against UNH's Ricky Santos, as his top college moment. He also mention his degree in graphic design while at UMass.
In the BC Lions' 24-20 loss to the Toronto Argos last night, alum Keron Williams had two tackles to give him six on the season. Anton McKenzie didn't post any stats.
Friday night football in Canada will see a pair of UMass alums in action
as the BC Lions travel
. Anton McKenzie and Keron Williams both have four
tackles on defense for the Lions.
The CFL had its second week of action with the BC Lions falling to
On defense, UMass alums Anton
(1 tackle) and Keron
played for BC.
CFL action got underway this weekend. UMass alums Anton
helped the BC Lions to a 25-10 win
Edmonton. Williams had four tackles while McKenzie had three stops along
with a sack and a forced fumble.