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Deshaun Davis signs with CFL team


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Linebacker Deshaun Davis signs with CFL team

Posted May 06, 2020

Purdue quarterback David Blough is hit by Auburn defenders Marlon Davidson and Deshaun Davis (57) during the Music City Bowl on Dec. 28, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) APAP



By Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com

The Canadian Football League doesn’t have a kickoff date for its 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the CFL’s teams are working on being ready when that currently unknown date arrives.

On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the signing of linebacker Deshaun Davis, a former Vigor High School and Auburn standout.

The CFL’s original schedule had the first preseason game set for May 24 and the regular-season opener on June 11. Normally, the league’s teams would be starting training camps this month.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said last month that the season wouldn’t start before July. But he said the league intended to “play a full season or as close as we can come to one. We recognize this may require some creativity, and we are preparing for multiple scenarios.”

Former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is one of the CFL’s top defensive backs for the Roughriders.

Saskatchewan’s roster includes seven other players with Alabama football roots: offensive lineman Lanard Bonner, Shades Valley; defensive back Blace Brown, Troy; defensive back Christian Campbell, Central-Phenix City; defensive back Otha Foster, West Alabama; linebacker Gary Johnson Jr., Douglas; offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama; defensive tackle Cory Thomas, McAdory; and wide receiver Xaiver Ubosi, UAB.

At Vigor High School in Prichard, Davis received All-State recognition in 2011 on the Wolves' AHSAA Class 5A runner-up team and repeated the honor in 2012. A torn ACL wiped out his senior prep season in 2013.

Davis earned All-SEC recognition in 2018, when he led Auburn in tackles for the second straight season. He played in the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl.

Davis entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2019 draft. The Bengals waived Davis on Aug. 31, when they reduced their 90-player preseason roster to the regular-season limit of 53.

Davis spent the first week of the 2019 season on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad and the final three weeks of the regular season on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.

A U.S. player signing his first contract in the CFL gets a one-year deal that carries a team option for a second season.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

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