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Piffles Top 5 – Roughrider Breakout Candidates in 24

Published: Wednesday, Jan 17th 2024, 1:01pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

Each and every year, we find players come out of nowhere to become CFL stars and household names around the league. Whether it’s first year CFL players or guys coming into their second (or third) year, we know there are stars just waiting on their chance to shine.

 

While the rosters are nowhere near being set for this year, I’m going to give my prediction on the top 5 breakout players for the Saskatchewan Roughriders this season. Guys that I think will not necessarily become all-stars (though they might), but important parts of the team’s success going forward.

 

In no particular order:

 

DE Lake Korte-Moore – Okay, maybe I’m taking this from TSN’s Marshall Ferguson, but Korte-Moore had a decent rookie year last season, despite the limited play time. He was near the bottom of the depth chart in a rotational role, but whenever he was in, he didn’t look out of place on the D-Line. With the questions surrounding Anthony Lanier II, Pete Robertson & Micah Johnson’s future with the team, Korte-Moore is in a great spot to get more playing time and prove his worth to the team.

 

LB A.J. Allen – Allen has played a backup role to Micah Teitz over the last couple of years, but has gotten some meaningful playing time in the defensive rotation. Teitz is a pending free agent and if the team wants to continue deploying a Canadian starter in the linebacking group, Allen has a shot here to become an every down player. 

 

DB Rodney Clemons – Another defensive player, because I’m expecting new head coach Corey Mace to have quite a few new starters on that side of the ball in ‘24. Clemons spent time on the practice roster last season and we’ve seen DB’s (like stud Rolan Milligan) come out of nowhere after only getting a few reps one year and become a star the next. This is what I think is going to happen with Clemons. The Riders have a hole or two to fill in the defensive backfield and I’m throwing it out there: Clemons is going to be a starter for the Riders and be one of their best defensive players in 2024.

 

RB Jerrion Ealy – Ealy will be a first year Rider in 2024 and there are big question marks at running back. Both Jamal Morrow and Frankie Hickson are pending free agents and while I expect one of them to be back (Morrow), there is plenty of opportunity here for a new recruit to shine. Enter Ealy, the only other American running back on the roster. 

 

WR Jerreth Sterns – As of right now, I’m concerned that the Riders haven’t re-signed Shawn Bane Jr. yet. If Bane Jr. was just one and done with the Riders, they need someone to step up and take his place. That could be Sterns. He quickly passed Jake Wieneke on the depth chart and showed some flashes, including his first career 100-yard game against BC. The chance is there to become an every game starter and big time playmaker in this offense.

 

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