Draft wipes out Renegades

Standout Renegades receiver and kick returner Jason Armstead is headed west. He was selected third...

Standout Renegades receiver and kick returner Jason Armstead is headed west. He was selected third by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in yesterday's CFL dispersal draft. (Ottawa Sun File/Jason Ransom)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

The CFL team formerly known as the Ottawa Renegades was officially wiped off the face of the earth yesterday, with the league's remaining squads picking players away from the dead carcass.

"It's like a foreclosure on your home, and you're standing there watching people walk in and out, taking away your couch, your TV and everything else," said Eric Tillman, the former Renegades GM.

"I just feel bad for people like the coaches and those who worked in the front office. There's no dispersal draft for them."

Coaches and GMs from the eight other teams got together on a conference call to claim the ex-Ottawa players in a surreal afternoon for long-suffering capital football fans.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats had the best drafts, making significant upgrades to their teams.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders also made a splash, picking quarterback Kerry Joseph first overall after acquiring the top pick from the Ticats in a trade made earlier in the day. But the Riders paid dearly to get Joseph, sending running back and Regina fan-favourite Corey Holmes, defensive back and Ottawa native Scott Gordon, a first-round pick in the 2007 draft and the rights to as many as two players on Saskatchewan's negotiating list.

Joseph became a star in his rookie season in Ottawa in 2003 but struggled the last two seasons. In Regina, he'll be reunited with new Riders offensive co-ordinator Tommy Condell, who served as Joseph's quarterback coach during the past two seasons with the 'Gades.

"I had a feeling that this was on the way and I'm happy. I'm ready to get in there," said Joseph from his mother's home in Louisiana.

"I'm excited about this. The fans in Regina are real passionate. It's not a big place, but that's okay. They all want to win, and that gives you something extra to strive for."

Joseph will attend training camp with three other quarterbacks -- Nealon Greene, Marcus Crandell and Rocky Butler.

In addition to Joseph, the Riders picked up receiver and kick returner Jason Armstead with the third overall pick, along with fullback Cory Hathaway and defensive back Donnie Ruiz, a member of the 2002 expansion Renegades, in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

"I finally have my chance," said Ruiz, who has a shot at becoming Saskatchewan's starting safety with the departure of Gordon.

The Blue Bombers strengthened their offensive line, selecting Orleans native Ibrahim "Obby" Khan with the second overall pick, and traded with Toronto to take veteran offensive tackle Val St. Germain, who'll begin a 12th CFL season, with the fifth selection.

"It's a great situation for me because I'll compete for a starting spot right away," said Khan, who'll join St. Germain and Mike Abou-Mechrek as former Renegades on Winnipeg's offensive line.

"It's pretty much an Ottawa Renegades offensive line."

The Bombers also picked up the steal of yesterday's dispersal, getting quarterback Brad Banks in the second round and 13th overall. The 2002 Heisman runner-up backed up Joseph for the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, no team selected linebacker Kyries Hebert, the outstanding defender who was charged with felony domestic assault in Texas in January.

Also bypassed was veteran linebacker Jason Kralt, whose career might now be over.

"The fat lady has sung," he said.


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