WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Tusculum University cornerback Dee Alford will continue his playing career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Alford becomes the third TU student-athlete mentored by head coach Jerry Odom to ink a professional contract in the CFL, joining former Pioneer greats Brandyn Bartlett (Saskatchewan) and Bryce Bartlett (Edmonton).
The Blue Bombers captured the 107th Grey Cup after going 14-7 and winning the CFL title for the first time in 29 years.
“I have enjoyed watching the growth of Dee, both as a person and as a player during his career. His work ethic and knowledge to understand both the technical side and the schematic side of his position set him apart from a lot of guys I have coached,” said Odom. His football IQ has gone up exponentially. I am extremely proud of his physical, mental, and spiritual growth in his time at Tusculum! I can’t wait to watch him play for Winnipeg.”
During his Tusculum career, Alford garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors on three occasions including first team honors last fall. He was also named to the D2CCA All-Super Region 2 Team.
He led the SAC with 20 passes defended (T4th in NCAA II) including his team-best five interceptions (3rd SAC / 25th in NCAA II) and 15 pass break-ups. His passes defended tally is the second most in a TU single-season, while his five interceptions are tied for second as well. He returned those five picks for 122 yards which are second in school history.
In his home finale against Mars Hill, Alford established a new TU single-game record with his seven passes defended including two interceptions, which are tied for a TU record and becomes the 24th Pioneer to achieve the feat. For his efforts, he was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Week for a second time this season and was also tabbed the College Defensive Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association.
Alford finished fourth on the team with 45 tackles, including three for loss and forced a fumble. He was also Tusculum's punt returner and averaged 14.22 yards per return, which is second in the conference and 10th in the country. His 27 punt returns and 384 punt return yards were the second most in school history, while his punt return average was fifth-best by a Pioneer.
His 40 career passes defended are a new Tusculum record, while his 195 career interception return yards are also a new TU-best. His 10 career interceptions are third in the school record book while his 50 career punt returns and 547 punt return yards are both the third-most in school history. Alford finished his career with a 10.94 punt return average, which is the fourth-best in TU history.