CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers bring back Japanese LB Les Maruo

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed Global linebacker Les Maruo to a one-year contract extension. He had been scheduled to become a free agent.

Maruo (six-foot, 225 pounds) returns to the Blue Bombers for a third season after initially being selected by the club in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2021 CFL Global Draft.

He dressed for 17 regular season games in 2022 as well as the Western Final and Grey Cup. He had 14 tackles and a sack while increasing his work with the defense, adding seven more tackles on special teams. Maruo also had two special teams tackles in the 109th Grey Cup game.

Maruo appeared in seven games in his rookie season of 2021, registering six defensive tackles as part of a group that captured the Grey Cup that year.

Born in Japan, Maruo grew up in Wichita, Kansas after his family moved to the United States when he was nine years old. He played his college ball at the University of Texas-San Antonio, starting all 12 games for the Roadrunners in his senior season and posting 86 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception and one pass knockdown.

Maruo has also played in Japan’s X-League over the past few winters, suiting up with the Asahi Challengers and Panasonic Impulse.

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