Donovan Alexander didn’t have far to go to attend his own news conference at Investors Group Field this afternoon where he was announced as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers latest signee for the 2014 CFL season.
A native Winnipegger, Alexander was between classes at the University of Manitoba this afternoon — he’s studying for an education degree — when he made his debut in front of the local media.
"It feels surreal. It’s still sinking in," said Alexander, 28, who grew up in Tuxedo and attended St. Paul’s High School. "Walking by and seeing all the ‘W’s’ up there on the board — it’s amazing. It’s hard for me to express right now.
"I’m just so happy, my family is so happy. My parents are actually on a cruise right now — I don’t think they know about it. They won’t be back until the first week of March so I will show up in the airport wearing Winnipeg Blue Bombers gear and they’ll be confused."
A seven-year CFL veteran who was originally drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft by the Montreal Alouettes, Alexander was released last week by the Edmonton Eskimos, where he played the last three seasons, recording 121 defensive tackles and 7 interceptions in 51 regular season games. Alexander had 37 tackles and 1 interception in 2013.
"Donovan is a veteran, Canadian player, who we feel can compete for a starting spot in our secondary," Bombers GM Kyle Walters said in a statement. "We are very pleased to add not only a talented football player, but also someone who grew up in Winnipeg and understands the importance of Blue Bomber football in our community. It was a great fit for both parties."
Alexander was also part of the Saskatchewan Roughriders teams that made back-to-back Grey Cup appearances in 2009 and 2010 and his signing by Winnipeg means he will be reunited in 2014 with defensive coordinator Gary Etcheverry, who held that job in Saskatchewan when Alexander was there and was announced just last week as the Bombers new DC.
Alexander played defensive back in Saskatchewan but was a safety in Edmonton. He said he had yet to discuss with the Bombers coaching staff the role coaches here see for him in the Bombers secondary.
Meanwhile, import running back Travon Jones (5-8, 171) has tweeted the Bombers have invited him to training camp. The Bombers are light on running backs, having not re-signed either Chad Simpson or Will Ford from last year’s team.