Miami Dolphins

Get to know Deon Lacey, the Dolphins’ next CFL hopeful

Edmonton Eskimos wide receiver Deon Lacey works out at training camp.
Edmonton Eskimos wide receiver Deon Lacey works out at training camp.

For every Cameron Wake, there are dozens of Cleyon Laings.

Both are edge rushers.

Wake is the Canadian Football League success story.

Laing is the customary tale.

Wake is a five-time Pro Bowler and the second-most accomplished pass-rusher in Dolphins history.

Laing was a member of the Dolphins organization for nine months and never played a down. He finished 2016 back where he began it — in the CFL.

So what will be Deon Lacey's history?

He's the latest CFL defender to sign with the Dolphins, inking a futures contract earlier this month.

Here's what you need to know about the Dolphins’ latest Canadian import:

▪ Lacey is 26 years old, born in Indianapolis but raised in the Deep South. He was a multisport star in high school, setting his high school's record in the 400-meter dash.

▪ He played collegiately at Division II West Alabama, where he was teammates with Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler. Lacey was named the Gulf South Conference player of the year in 2011.

▪ The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker went undrafted out of college, but signed on with the Cowboys as a rookie free agent. Dallas waived him in the first round of 2013 preseason cuts.

▪ After spending the fall of 2013 out of football, Lacey signed on with the Edmonton Eskimos in February 2014. He was mostly a special teams player his first year, recording just nine tackles as a rookie.

▪ In 2015, Lacey surged. He tallied six sacks and forced four fumbles as a CFL sophomore. But more importantly, he won a title. The Eskimos beat the Ottawa Redblacks in the 103rd Grey Cup.

▪ His third (and, he hopes, final) year in the CFL was his best. Lacey ranked sixth in the league with 87 tackles and added three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

The Dolphins had seen enough. They decided to give Lacey another NFL shot. If he makes the most of it, there's no reason he can't make the team.

Here's why. The Dolphins are looking for one, if not two, starting linebackers. Jelani Jenkins, Spencer Paysinger and Donald Butler are all set to become unrestricted free agents in March.

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