Edmonton Eskimos have strong UWA football influence

Published 1:15 pm Monday, June 23, 2014

The Edmonton Eskimos will have a definite West Alabama football influence when they open the 2014 Canadian Football League season Friday, July 4 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Former UWA linebackers Otha Foster and Deon Lacey both made the final roster cut for the Eskimos and will be coached by former Tiger All-Gulf South Conference baseball pitcher Phillip Lolley, who was most recently the director of football external relations and director of NFL relations at Auburn.

Foster was traded to Edmonton from Toronto on May 13, along with Toronto’s first and second round picks in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft. Foster had previously spent time with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, seeing action in three 2013 pre-season games. An all-conference performer at UWA, Foster played two seasons at West Alabama (2011-12). He finished his career at West Alabama with 96 tackles, 16 pass deflections and 10 interceptions.

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The Eskimos signed Lacey as a free agent on Feb. 26 after he spent the 2013 preseason with the Dallas Cowboys. In four seasons (2009-12) at UWA, Lacey recorded 267 tackles, nine quarterback sacks, six forced fumbles and five interceptions. As a junior, he was named the 2011 GSC defensive player of the year after recording 97 tackles, four quarterback sacks, two interceptions, four broken passes and a fumble recovery.

Lolley has over three decades of football coaching experience, including serving as head coach for four schools and as linebackers and defensive backs coach at Auburn. He was an all-conference pitcher for the UWA Tigers in 1976.