Alouettes sign ’21 Global picks, Carabins’ WR Kevin Kaya

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Tuesday that the club has signed deals with the four players drafted in the 2021 Global Draft: Australian kicker Joseph Zema, Japanese linebacker Akio Yamagishi, Japanese running back Taku Lee and Swedish defensive back William James. The team also signed French receiver Kevin Kaya, who played for the Université de Montréal Carabins.

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Zema (six-foot-two, 210 pounds) played 11 games for the Incarnate Word University in Texas in 2017, during which he maintained a 46.7 yard average on 77 punts, forcing opposing teams to start from inside their 20-yard line on 20 occasions. In 2019, the Melbourne, Australia native played for the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF, where he averaged 45.8 yards on 37 punts.

Yamagishi (five-foot-10, 219 pounds) suited up for the Fujitsu Frontier of the Japanese X-league, helping his team win six consecutive Rice Bowl national championships between 2014 and 2019. He also was the kicker for his team. Voted team captain, he won the College Football Player of the Year award in Japan in 2016.

Lee (six-foot-one, 205 pounds) helped the Obic Seagulls win the Japan X-League championship last year, completing the game with 111 rushing yards on 21 carries. He scored both of his team’s majors in a 13-7 win. He then helped his team go on to win the Rice Bowl.

James (five-foot-11, 195 pounds) played for the Dresden Monarchs in the German League in 2018, before stops in Australia, Finland, and his native Sweden. He played two seasons for the North Dakota University Fighting Hawks in the NCAA. In 23 games, he registered 94 tackles and one sack, while forcing three fumbles and knocking down four passes.

Kaya (six-foot-four, 175 pounds) completed his collegiate career with a bang in 2019, as he finished the season in second place of the RSEQ with 597 receiving yards on 45 receptions, on top of scoring a major. The 26-year-old Nancy, France native was selected a RSEQ first team All-Star, as well as a second team All-Canadian. He caught three passes for 33 yards in the 2019 Vanier Cup against the University of Calgary Dinos.

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