CFL Global Draft: Ottawa Redblacks Draft DT Blessman Ta’ala First Overall

The Ottawa Redblacks have drafted Samoan defensive tackle Blessman Ta’ala with the first overall pick in the CFL Global Draft.

Ta’ala is a six-foot-two, 305-pound defensive tackle from Pago Pago, American Samoa. He appeared in 64 games over five seasons with the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, racking up a total of 142 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Ta’ala cemented himself as the top global prospect as he paired a highly successful NCAA career with a dominant CFL Combine Performance earlier this year. Ta’ala looked great in pass-rushing drills and the combine’s team periods using his length and strength to slide right past offensive lineman. The Samoan was named as one of the CFL Combine overall standouts.

The top global pick signed his contract following the selection as he quickly became a official member of the Ottawa Redblacks for the 2023 season, joining standout global linebacker Tyron Vrede.


Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and