Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Lions sign Stanback to beef up run game

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions announced on Tuesday that they have signed American running back William Stanback to a one-year contract.

Stanback, 29, moves to the West Coast after five years with the Montreal Alouettes where he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on two occasions while also earning CFL and East Division All-Star nods in both 2019 and 2021. Stanback was also the East nominee for CFL Most Outstanding Player in the 2021 campaign after leading the CFL with 1,176 rushing yards.

Stanback played in 14 games for the Als in 2023 and had 800 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 147 carries. He had a touchdown in the 110th Grey Cup game — part of a 68-yard showing on nine carries — helping the Als to their first Grey Cup in 13 years.

In his five years with the Alouettes, Stanback amassed 3,716 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns with 625 carries and caught 107 passes for 1,058 yards and four touchdowns. He was named a CFL All-Star in 2019 and 2021 and an East Division All-Star in the same years. He led the league in rushing in 2021 with 1,176 yards.

In BC, Stanback reunites with quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Both players had key roles in revitalizing that Alouettes team, helping it end a four-year playoff drought. Stanback will have plenty of opportunity in BC. While the Lions had an exceptional passing game, the team was last in the league in rushing yards, with 1,391 (77.3 yards per game).

Stanback attended Central Florida from 2013-15 before transferring to Virginia Union for his senior season and rushing for 1,299 yards and 15 touchdowns while earning All-CIAA First-Team honours.  The Hempstead, New York native then attended 2017 training camp with the Green Bay Packers and spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

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