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Bombers pleased with results of CFL Draft

April 30, 2008 - Canadian Football League (CFL) - Winnipeg Blue Bombers News Release

WINNIPEG, MB - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers added some promising non-import talent today, acquiring six players in the 2008 CFL Canadian Draft, including first round pick offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte, who was taken sixth overall.

Winnipeg's other selections included wide receiver Aaron Hargreaves (2nd round, 15th overall), running back Daryl Stephenson (3rd, 15th overall), defensive back Marc Beswick (4th, 31st overall), defensive tackle Donald Oramasionwu (5th, 39th overall) and linebacker Pierre-Luc Labbe (6th, 47th overall).

"From all of the analysis we have done we think we have done pretty decently with the guys that we will have coming into camp," said Bombers receiver coach and Canadian draft coordinator Bob Dyce. "They are all young guys with a lot of potential to grow."

LaBatte (6-4, 320, Regina, DOB: Sept. 12, 1986 in Weyburn, Sask.) started 10 games for the Regina Rams in 2007 and was an integral part of offensive line that helped the Rams average a Canada West Conference-leading 32.1 points per game.

In '07, LaBatte was just the second Rams player to participate in the East-West Shrine Game. The Weyburn, Sask. product was one of four Rams players selected to participate in the 2007 East West Bowl. He was also a starter for the Rams in 2006.

"It feels awesome to be picked in the first round," LaBatte said following the draft. "Winnipeg is so close to home it's a perfect home.

"I'm expecting to come into camp and make whatever adjustments I have to and pick up things quickly. I don't think I'm a guy who takes plays off. When I line up against a guy there's no kidding around."

With their second round pick (15th overall), the Bombers took wide receiver Aaron Hargreaves from Simon Fraser Clan. Hargreaves (6-1, 215, DOB: Jan. 26, 1986 in Ladner, B.C.) was a Canada West All-Star selection in 2007 when he recorded 45 receptions for 556 yards and one TD. He was named SFU's most valuable player on offence the past two seasons. In 2006, Hargreaves was a first-time Canada West All-Star when he had 34 catches for 538 yards and three TDs.

The Big Blue scooped up running back Daryl Stephenson with their third round pick (24th overall). Stephenson (6-2, 220, DOB: Oct. 8, 1985 in London, Ont.) was the eighth leading rusher in the country in 2007 when he gained 764 yards and four TDs on 125 carries. Stephenson was the Hec Crighton Award winner in 2006 when he led the CIS in rushing with 1,140 yards and 11 TDs. Stephenson was also the country's leading rusher in 2005 when he had 1,306 yards and 12 TDs in just eight games.

Winnipeg picked defensive back Marc Beswick (6-1, 198, DOB: Jan. 23, 1983 in Vancouver, B.C.) with their fourth round pick (31st overall). Beswick tied for the team lead in interceptions when he hauled in four for the St. Mary's Huskies in 2007. He also made 26 solo and 12 assisted tackles last season. Prior to joining the Huskies, he played three seasons at Butte Junior College.

The Bombers picked a homegrown product in the fifth round (39th overall) when they selected defensive tackle Donald Oramasionwu (pronounced OH-RAM-EE-SEE-ON) of the Vanier Cup champion University of Manitoba Bisons. Oramasionwu (6-3, 255, DOB: June 4, 1986 in Winnipeg, MB) collected 23 tackles, including three for losses, and two quarterback sacks for the Bisons in 2007.

With their final pick of the 2008 CFL Draft, the Bombers chose linebacker Pierre-Luc Labbe of the Sherbrooke Vert et Or. Labbe (6-3, 226, DOB: May 14, 1984 in Quebec City, QC) was the leading tackler in the Quebec Conference in 2007 with 54.5 total stops. He also had two sacks and two pass break-ups. Labbe was a QUFL All-Star for three consecutive seasons (2005-07).


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