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Renegades sign three players

March 3, 2004 - Canadian Football League (CFL) - Ottawa Renegades News Release

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Renegades are pleased to announce the signing of import running back Sean Bennett, import linebacker Dru Grigson, and import free agent linebacker Tony White who played for Ottawa during the 2003 season. All players agreed to one-year contracts with a club option for the 2005 season.

Bennett, a 28-year-old graduate of Northwestern, arrives in Ottawa with experience in the National Football League. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound running back played 16 regular-season games with the New York Giants after being selected in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 1999 NFL draft.

Bennett scored one touchdown in the NFL, during the 1999 season on a one-yard run on November 28 against the Arizona Cardinals.

He had 28 carries for 122 yards and five catches for 27 yards with the Giants in 1999 and 2002. Bennett missed the 2000 and 2001 seasons due to injury.

Bennett is from Evansville, Indiana, the same hometown as former Ottawa Lynx infielder and current Montreal Expos infielder Jamey Carroll. Bennett and Wes Carroll, the younger brother of Jamey, played on the same Legion baseball team.

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White, 24, returns to the Renegades after playing two games for Ottawa during the 2003 season.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound graduate of UCLA made his CFL début for the Renegades on July 31 at Frank Clair Stadium against the Edmonton Eskimos. White also played for Ottawa on August 7 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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Grigson, a 24-year-old linebacker from Highland, Indiana, arrives in Ottawa after taking the long and winding road to professional football.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound graduate of William Penn University is renowned by scouts for his ability to make hard hits, and his tenacity in the weight room. Grigson benched 225 pounds 33 times once during a legendary session in the workout room.

Grigson began his collegiate career at New Mexico State in 1997. Pegged as a starting rush end for the 1998 season, hard luck arrived when Grigson broke his right leg during spring drills. He missed the 1998 season and also was forced to the sidelines in 1999 when he developed an infection in the same leg.

He transferred to Northern Iowa University where he spent two years before transferring to William Penn University after receiving permission for a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

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Further information on all three players signed today appears below:

SEAN BENNETT

Position: Running Back

Nationality: American

Height / Weight: 6-1, 230

University: Northwestern

Birthdate (Opening Day Age) Birthplace: November 9, 1975 (28) Wurzburg, Germany

Acquired: Free agent; March 3, 2004

Yrs CFL / Yrs Renegades: 1st / 1st

Draft: Fourth round (112th overall) 1999 NFL NY Giants

2003 Highlights

Signed by the NFL’s New York Jets on April 2 … Played in the Hall of Fame Game vs. Tampa Bay on Aug. 2 in Tokyo … Had one carry for three yards … Released Aug. 25

Professional

NFL Experience: Has played in 16 regular-season games with two starts … Has 29 career NFL carries for 126 yards (4.3 average) and one touchdown … 1999: Had 28 carries for 122 yards and one touchdown and five receptions for 27 yards for the NFL’s New York Giants … Became first Giants rookie to start season-opener since Tiki Barber in 1997 … Suffered sprained knee against New England on Sept. 26 … Returned to action later in the season and scored his first (and only) NFL touchdown on Nov. 28 during a 34-24 loss to Arizona on a one-yard run … 2000: Spent the entire season on injured reserve after undergoing season-ending knee surgery prior to the beginning of the season … 2001: Missed football for second straight year … A hamstring injury forced him to miss training camp practices … Placed on physically unable to perform list on Aug. 27 … Waived off the PUP list on Sept. 2 … 2002: Re-signed by the Giants on Jan. 15 … Played in seven games as a reserve running back and as a receiver later in the season … Had five catches for 37 yards … Also worked on special teams.

High School / University 1994-1995: Played baseball at the University of Illinois … 1996-1997: Played two years of football at the University of Evansville … Gained 2,856 yards on 465 carries at Evansville (Div. 1-AA) … Also had 25 touchdowns … Named first-team Academic All-American in 1996 and third-team All-American … Set seven school records, including career rushing (2,856), single-season rushing (1,667), single-game rushing (313), career scoring (234 points), single-season scoring (122 points), touchdowns in one season (20) and career touchdowns (39) … 1998: Played one season at Northwestern and a running back, receiver and kickoff returner … Had 32 carries for 160 yards and one touchdown in 12 games … Also contributed 17 catches for 228 yards and 11 kickoff returns for 220 yards … High School: Named all-state by the Associated Press and the Herald-Times …

TONY WHITE

Position: Linebacker

Nationality: American

Height, Weight: 6-1, 235

University: UCLA

Birthdate (Opening Day Age) Birthplace: March 22, 1979 (25) Key West, FL

Acquired: Free agent; March 18, 2003; re-signed March 3, 2004

Yrs CFL / Yrs Renegades: 2nd / 2nd

CFL Games / Renegades Games: 2 / 2

2003 Highlights Rookie played two games: July 31 vs Edmonton and Aug. 7 vs Saskatchewan … Spent remainder of season on practice roster… One of the last cuts by Renegades during 2003 training camp, but re-joined team in mid-season.

High School / University 1997-2000: Played four seasons for the UCLA Bruins… 1997: Recorded first college interception against Houston… Recovered a fumble vs. Oregon that led to a touchdown and an eventual victory in overtime… Had eight tackles in the Rose Bowl game vs. Wisconsin… Played in nine games as a freshman… Spent time on defence and special teams… 1998: Started 12 games … 1999: played in the final nine games of the season… Had 53 tackles… 2000: Ranked sixth on the Bruins defence with 64 tackles during senior year… Had nine tackles for losses and two sacks… Recorded a career-high 13 tackles @ Oregon in the season-opener… Made two tackles and had one interception vs. Stanford… Had seven defensive tackles in Sun Bowl vs. Wisconsin.

DRU GRIGSON

Position: Linebacker

Nationality: American

Height, Weight: 6-1, 240

University: William Penn

Birthdate (Opening Day Age) Birthplace: August 14, 1978 (25) Highland, Indiana

Acquired: Free agent; March 3, 2004

Yrs CFL / Yrs Renegades: 1st / 1st

High School / University

Grigson has taken the long and winding road to professional football … 1996: Attended Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia where he was a roommate of Plaxico Burress, who later became a Pittsburgh Steelers receiver … 1997: Recruited by New Mexico State and spent the year on the scout team as a redshirted defensive end … 1998: Pegged as a starting rush end, but suffered a right leg fracture during spring drills, wiping out season … Underwent surgery to have a 13-screw, two-inch plate inserted in the broken leg … 1999: In the summer, developed an infection in the leg and required surgery … Did not attend school and opted to transfer to Northern Iowa University after mourning the loss of a close family member … 2000: Appeared in four games as a reserve defensive end at Northern Iowa. Had five tackles (three solo) … Missed seven games due to a hernia that required surgery following the season … 2001: On the Northern Iowa roster … Did not see much action … Opted to transfer to William Penn University (NAIA) in Oskaloosa, Iowa … 2002: Granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA … Rated a Super Sleeper Team honourable mention by The NFL Draft Report … Started four of 11 games at middle linebacker … Had 54 tackles (40 solo), two sacks, two quarterback pressures and 11 tackles for losses (44 yards) … Also deflected two passes and forced one fumble … Made seven solo tackles during his début game (off bench) against Midland Lutheran … Invited to the Paradise Bowl and held his own with Big 12 and Big Ten players. Quote: “There was a time when it was a real test to my faith. There were some real gut-checks, and there were times when I was frustrated with myself and my career” – as told to The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Notable

Rated the No. 15 linebacker by Pro Football Weekly for the 2003 NFL draft … Considered a hard-hitting overachiever by scouts … Possesses a “take no prisoners” attitude and tries to do whatever he can to take an opponent down … Has abilities as a long snapper … Is a machine in the weight room. Benched 225 pounds 33 times once … Has attended private workouts with the Chicago Bears … His older brother, Ryan Grigson, was a standout offensive lineman at Purdue and played in the NFL for Detroit and Cincinnati who now scouts for the St. Louis Rams … Ryan Grigson played briefly for the Toronto Argonauts in 1997.

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