Hamilton Tiger-Cats add pair of American D-linemen


Published January 18, 2023 at 4:38 pm

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have added two defensive linemen, McKinley Williams and Alvin Ward Jr., to the fold as the countdown to Canadian football’s free-agent period draws nearer.

Williams, a six-foot-four, 285-pound native of Miramar, Fla., had a one-game cameo with the Tiger-Cats during the 2022 CFL season, making one defensive tackle. The 24-year-old’s football arc includes an NFL stint last year with the Indianapolis Colts and he also played six seasons for the Syracuse Orange, a Power 5 college team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The 25-year-old Ward Jr. is a six-foot-four, 235-pound native of Ahoskie, N.C., who played his college football for two teams in Georgia. He most recently played nine games over two seasons (2020-21) for the Mercer Bears (NCAA Football Championship Subdivision),registering 39 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 quarterback sacks, and one fumble recovery. Ward also played for the Georgia Southern Eagles (Sun Belt Conference), where he played in 27 games over three seasons (2017-19), registering eight total tackles, one interception and one pass breakup.

Wednesday marked 26 days until CFL teams can begin signing free agents on Feb. 14 at 12 noon. The Tiger-Cats have the playing rights to two-time Most Outstanding Player-winning quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, heretofore of the Calgary Stampeders. Middle linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox, cover linebacker Kameron Kelly, and cornerbacks Ciante Evans and Jumal Rolle could also potentially test the open market.

Along the defensive line, Micah Johnson, Julian Howsare, and Malik Carney are each due to become free agents in February. Canadian veteran defensive tackle Ted Laurent and veteran outside linebacker Simoni Lawrence could also potentially become free agents.

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