Emmanuel Rugamba
refer to caption
Rugamba with the Lions in 2023
No. 33 – BC Lions
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born: (1998-05-10) May 10, 1998 (age 26)
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:Naperville Central (Naperville, Illinois)
College:Miami (OH)
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
CFL status:American
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR · CFL.ca

Emmanuel "Manny" Rugamba (born March 10, 1998) is a Rwandan-American professional gridiron football defensive back for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL).[1] He played college football at Miami (OH) and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Browns after the 2021 NFL Draft, becoming the first Rwandan to be signed to an NFL team.[2][3][1]

College career

Rugamba was ranked as a three–star recruit by 247Sports.com coming out of high school.[4] He committed to Iowa on August 1, 2015 and converted from wide receiver to cornerback.[5] After two seasons at Iowa, Rugamba decided to transfer from Iowa on May 13, 2018.[6] He committed to Miami (OH) shortly thereafter.[7]

Professional career

Cleveland Browns

Rugamba was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns on May 3, 2021.[8] He was waived by the Browns on August 31, 2021.[9]

BC Lions

On February 17, 2022, it was announced that Rugamba had signed with the BC Lions.[10] He began the season on the practice roster, but made his regular season debut on August 13, 2022, against the Calgary Stampeders where he had two defensive tackles.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Nsabimana, Eddie. "Rwanda: Who is Rugamba, the First Rwandan to Join NFL?". The New Times.
  2. ^ Williams, Ellis. "Browns sign five undrafted free agents including DT Marvin Wilson and CB Emmanuel Rugamba". Cleveland.com.
  3. ^ "Rwanda: Emmanuel Rugamba, from the refugee camp to the NFL". AFRICA NEWS24.
  4. ^ "Emmanuel Rugamba Recruiting Profile". 247Sports.com.
  5. ^ "Emmanuel Rugamba 247". 247Sports.com.
  6. ^ "So Long, Farewell: Defensive Back Manny Rugamba Departs Iowa Football Program". Black Heart Gold Pants.
  7. ^ "Emmanuel Rugamba Miami (OH)". Miami RedHawks Athletics.
  8. ^ Justice, Camryn. "UDFA tracker: Here's who the Browns have added after the Draft". News 5 Cleveland.
  9. ^ Gribble, Andrew (August 31, 2021). "Browns announce initial 53-man roster heading into 2021 season". ClevelandBrowns.com.
  10. ^ "Lions sign American DBs Manny Rugamba and Mallory Claybourne". BC Lions. February 17, 2022.
  11. ^ "Emmanuel Rugamba". BC Lions. Retrieved October 10, 2022.