Better know a free agent: Paul Woldu
The last of our profiles on the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ major offseason free agent signings was actually the first of the four to be announced. Sorry, Paul, but that’s what happens when your brother doesn’t let me cheat off of his Spanish 102 final exam. Moving on …
PAUL WOLDU, Cornerback
Tale of the Tape: 6-foot-0 … 170 pounds … 27 years old … four CFL seasons … 2011: Montreal Alouettes
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Member of 2009 and 2010 Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes … 2007 CIS First-Team All-Star … Played in 2006 Vanier Cup for the U of S Huskies.
Upside(s): Versatile – led the Als in special teams tackles in 2009 … Non-import at an import-heavy position … Hometown boy will help in the marketing department … Product of a winning culture.
Downside(s): Yet to establish himself as a consistent impact player on the corner … Still awaiting the long-overdue release of the first book in the Where’s Woldu? series.
Celebrity Lookalike: Orlando Jones (hey, no one specified it had to be an A-list – or even a D-list – celebrity)
Fun Fact(s): Woldu’s first taste of the CFL came in 2006 when he was invited to the Riders’ training camp … His official CFL debut also came in Regina, with the Montreal Alouettes in 2008, where he registered two special teams tackles.
Random Quote: “Of course, I didn’t receive a fair opportunity. I played well, showed I could play well, and they always went with someone else. But there are no ill feelings and I wouldn’t change anything. I won two Grey Cups.” – Woldu on his time in Montreal in a recent interview with Herb Zurkowsky.
The Verdict: Wait and see. Many Riders fans will see him as an upgrade on Nick Graham, but he doesn’t have a great body of work on which to judge. At worst, a great depth signing. At best, a reliable and consistent starter for at least the next five to six years. In Woldu’s own words, his contract “shows me (Saskatchewan’s) going to give me the opportunity to play, and to play consistently on defence.”