RIDERS ADD TWO ON DEFENCE
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American linebacker DeMarquis Gates and American defensive lineman Markus Jones.
DeMarquis Gates (6’2-226 lbs) joins the Roughriders after a stellar college career, and a young pro career that has spanned three professional leagues. Most recently, Gates was a member of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, but prior to that was a standout player in the XFL and AAF.
Gates played in five games for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks where he collected 32 tackles – including three for a loss – the fifth most in the league while also earning two sacks, three quarterback hurries, one interception, three pass deflections, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. While with the Memphis Express, the 24-year-old led the AAF with 52 tackles and five forced fumbles through eight games. The undrafted Gates also had NFL stops with the Cleveland Browns (2018) and the Washington Football Team (2019).
Collegiately, Gates was a defensive star at Ole Miss where he led the team in tackles for three straight seasons (2015-2017). As a senior, he started all 12 games at middle linebacker, making 114 tackles (9.5 per game) – good enough for third in the SEC. His 70 solo tackles led the SEC and saw him ranked 13th nationally. Gates also collected two sacks, a fumble recovery and five quarterback hurries. Over four collegiate seasons he amassed 282 total tackles (163 solo), six sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 49 games played.
Markus Jones (6’3-250lbs) comes to the Green and White after stops in the XFL and NFL over the last two years. The 24-year-old defensive lineman played in four preseason NFL games for the Green Bay Packers, earning four tackles, two defended passes – including one that led to an interception – and one fumble recovery. Prior to being picked up by Packers he had signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Most recently, Jones was part of the XFL’s Team 9.
Jones spent five collegiate seasons at Angelo State University. As a senior, he recorded 84 tackles, including 37 tackles for loss – the highest number recorded across all divisions of NCAA football – while also collecting 18 sacks, two blocked kicks and four forced fumbles and winning the Gene Upshaw Award as the best offensive or defensive lineman in Division II football. As a junior he earned All-America honors from the AFCA, D2Football.com and Don Hansen in addition to being named the Lone Star Conference J.V. Sikes Defensive Player of the Year and LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year, a Cliff Harris Award finalist and D2CCA All-Super Region Four Team selection.