Italian WR Jordan Bouah in a battle as Ottawa REDBLACK’s wind up preseason

As the Ottawa REDBLACKS head to Montreal Thursday, June 6  to face the Montreal Alouettes in their final preseason game of the 2019 CFL season, there are plenty of roster battles, but one will be watched closely by football fans throughout Italy.

Italian wide receiver Jordan Bouah, from Rome, Italy, is in a battle with three other Global players to make the REDBLACKS roster. If he does, he would become historic as the first Italian player to make a CFL roster.

The 24 year old Buoah was one of the 18 European players to attend the CFL Combine in Toronto. On April 11, the Ottawa Redblacks selected him eighth overall in the CFL’s first European Draft. Buoah, who had just finished his sophomore season at California’s Saddleback College, had previously played for the Gladiators of Rome and for the Italian national team.

“I started my football career in Italy, I played two years there,” explained Bouah, a 5-foot-11 receiver. I decided to go all-in, move to California for two years. Now I’m here, in Ottawa … it’s incredible. I played basketball my whole life. I had a transitional period with basketball, there was a four-month gap where one of my friends suggested I try football. I tried it and really fell in love with it.”

Under the terms of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, each CFL team gets to protect protect one “global” player. For the Redblacks, it will come down to one of four players — Bouah (#74) or  Mexicans Maximiliano Soto (defensive lineman who is not playing in this game), Jose Maltos (#16) (kicker) and receiver Guillermo Villalobos (#75) (receiver).

In Ottawa’s first preseason game, a 25-21 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Buoah only saw action on special teams while Villalobos caught one pass for 12 yards. Soto did not dress for that game either. Maltos kicked a field goal, three kickoffs and punted the ball three times.

Still, as Buoah explained to Guido Colombo of, the experience was amazing:

“An experience to say the least that was indescribable. I had never played in a completely filled stadium. The atmosphere was crazy. Now of course I hope I can be used on offense already in the next preseason game in Montreal ”.



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