Former NCAA receiving champ among Hamilton Tiger-Cats signings

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Published January 27, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Omar Bayless, who once led the NCAA in receiving yardage but has yet to crack an NFL lineup, is among a trio of new Hamilton Tiger-Cats signings.

The Ticats, in the wake of inking a three-year pact with quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell this week, have added Bayless, defensive back and fellow American Tyrone Hill Jr., and national offensive lineman Nicolas Guay and American defensive back.

Bayless, 26, recently spent time with the Kansas City NFL team, which is hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game on Sunday (Jan. 29). The six-foot-one, 210-pound Laurel, Miss., native was also on the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers for two seasons (2020-21).

In 2019, Bayless led the Football Bowl Subdivision with 127.2 receiving yards per game and won the Sun Belt Conference player-of-the-year award during his senior campaign with the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Over four seasons at Arkansas State, he set team records for career receiving touchdowns (26), and single-season receiving TDs and yards (17, and 1,653). He also finished as the second-leading receiver in the Red Wolves history (with 177 receptions for 2,775 yards).

While the Tiger-Cats have their quarterback locked in, both of their incumbent 1,000-yard receivers could hit the open market next month. Tim White and Steven Dunbar Jr. are both without contract extensions.

Unsigned players can become free agents at 12 noon on Feb. 14.

In the meantime, Hill Jr., 25, is a newcomer to the pro level. He played six games in 2021 with the Washington State Cougars in the Pac-12 conference, registering 20 total tackles, 2½ tackles for loss and two pass breakups. The six-foot-one, 200-pound Passaic, N.J., native began his collegiate career with the Buffalo Bulls (Mid-American Conference). In 37 games over four seasons (2017-20) with Buffalo, Hill registering 148 total tackles, 4½ tackles for loss, 20 pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries.

The 26-year-old Guay is embarking on a second go-around with the Tiger-Cats. The six-foot-two, 300-pound Québec City native spent training camp with the Tiger-Cats last season after being selected by the club in the seventh round (No. 64 overall) in the ’22 Canadian Football League Draft. Guay played Canadian university football with the Laval Rouge et Or (2017-21), where he was part of one Vanier Cup-winning national championship team (2018) and earned all-conference and all-Canadian honours in ’21.

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