Raised in Pickering,
Ontario, Richard Karikari returns home after spending the past four seasons as
a standout in the defensive secondary with the Montreal Alouettes. His best
season was in 2005 when he was named a CFL All-Star and East Division All-Star
at safety. Karikari started 18 games that year for the Als and finished second
in the league in interceptions with nine, including 188 interception return
yards. The 27 year old has already played in two Grey Cup Championships, once
as a starter.
Remarked the newest Argo,
Richard Karikari, “This is exciting; I work at kids’ football camps throughout
the year and this is an opportunity for those kids to see me in a hometown
uniform. I always told my parents that I wanted to play for the Argos and this
is my chance. Toronto has played Montreal in the past five East Championships
and this is a great opportunity to help get the team over that hump and win
another Grey Cup.”
Karikari was originally
drafted by Montreal in the second round (14th Overall) of the 2003
CFL Canadian Draft out of St. FX University. In 2002, he was a runner-up for
the Hec Creighton award as the nation’s top CIS football player, was named the
AUS Most Outstanding Player and was named a CIS All-Canadian.
Stokes had two very
productive seasons with the Alouettes in 2002 and 2003, as he set several
records on kick returns. In 2002, he returned 25 kickoffs for gains of 527
yards and 76 punts for gains of 896 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught
43 passes for 572 yards and three touchdowns. He was named East Division rookie of the year
and top special teams player.
In 2003, he returned 23 kickoffs for 455 yards
and 60 punts for 539 yards and a touchdown. In these last two years, he also
returned 16 missed field goals for 861 yards (avg. 53.8 yards per return)
including two for 115-yard scores. He added 429 yards on 33 pass receptions.
He was then traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
where he had two excellent seasons. In 2004, he was named on the CFL All-Star
team and was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Team Player. He had his best
year as a receiver in 2005 with 58 catches for 832 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2006, Stokes caught 20
passes for 253 yards with the Toronto Argonauts.