Reggie Barnes - Running Back - 1990-93, 96 - Delaware State University
Reggie Barnes graduated from Delaware State University in 1988. While at Delaware State Barnes had won a MEAC championship in 1985 as a freshman, in the title game as a freshman Barnes had run for an 80 yard touchdown. Barnes was not drafted into the NFL in 1989 but did attend the New York Jets training camp in 1989, he was released prior to the season.
From there Barnes signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders in May of 1990. The native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was an instant success on the field. Barnes first saw action in the second week of the season and never looked back compiling 1,260 yards rushing and 5 rushing TDs. He added a 74 yard TD reception in week#3 a thrilling 50-46 victory over Edmonton at Lansdowne Park on July 26. Barnes was named the leagues Most Outstanding Rookie in 1990 as Ottawa finished the year 7-11. Barnes teamed with QB Damon Allen (1,036) to both rush for over 1,000 yards a feat not matched in Ottawa until 2005 when Kerry Joseph and Josh Ranek turned the trick.
Barnes returned in 1991 with no sophomore jinx. He enjoyed his best season as a professional with 1,486 yards and 10 rushing TD's to go with 3 receiving touchdowns. The club again finished at 7-11 and lost to Winnipeg in the Eastern semi-final. In 1992 Barnes had 926 yards rushing and only 2 touchdowns. Ottawa improved to 9-9 for the season the clubs first .500 season since 1983. In the playoffs Ottawa lost a heartbreaker to Hamilton 29-28 on a last second Paul Osbaldiston field goal. Barnes put up a valiant effort in the game played in snowy conditions at Ivor Wynne Stadium Barnes rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown in the losing cause. It would be his last defining moment with Ottawa.
Barnes returned to Ottawa in 1993 amidst the circus that was the Glieberman ownership at the time. With Dexter Manley brought into the club, management pressured the coaches to play Manley and ultimately Barnes. Reggie a fan favorite was released by the club in July 1993 and then under pressure from the Gliebermans re-signed in October of '93. It was a forgettable year for Ottawa fans and Barnes as the club finished a dismal 4-14.
Barnes left Ottawa with the Gliebermans and played for Shreveport in 1994 before moving to Hamilton for the end of the '94 season. Barnes signed with Toronto as a free agent in 1995 but struggled with Toronto. Finally, Reggie returned to Ottawa in 1996 to end his career. He did not have much success with the club in 1996 but it was a fitting end to the career for one of the last crowd favorites in Ottawa as an Ottawa Rough Rider.
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