Leroy Vann signs with neighbors from the north

Nearly three weeks after being waived by the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League, former Florida A&M All-American return specialist LeRoy Vann signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Vann, who signed as a free agent with the 49ers following the 2010 NFL Draft after a dynamic record breaking collegiate career at FAMU, failed to materialize with the 49ers organization. Enticed by his athletic talent showcased in college, San Francisco and head coach Mike Singletary signed the undrafted rookie with intentions of using him as a primary return threat on the special teams unit.

 But with the late arrival of several NFL veteran kick returners and with injuries putting a larger premium on roster spots, Vann was waived by the team. The 49ers released Vann on Aug. 9, six days before the 49ers first preseason game.

However, his short stint with the 49ers didn’t hinder the 5-foot-8, 177-pound return man from pursuing a professional football career elsewhere. Shortly after his release from the 49ers, Vann worked out for the Detroit Lions of the NFL before gaining the attention of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

The Tampa, Fla., native signed with the Montreal Alouettes on Aug.28, but made his CFL debut against the Winnipeg Blue Boomers on Sep.24, according to the Montreal Gazette. Vann is currently a defensive back and kick returner for the Allouettes.

According to the Montreal Alouettes official Website, www.en.montrealalouettes.com, Vann has five kick returns for 101 yards, averaging 20.2 yards per return and two tackles this season.

During his four-year collegiate career at Florida A&M, Vann became the fifth player in NCAA history to reach at least 1,000 yards in both kick returns and punt returns. He also set a NCAA record with 11 combined returns for touchdowns.

Currently he owns five NCAA return records and holds nine school and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference records. Moreover, Vann exceeded FAMU’s 1988 All-American Howard Huckaby’s four touchdown punt returns with five in a single-season.