For the second straight season, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will not be holding an on-field rookie camp. The reason: not enough rookies.
Several CFL teams will open their 2015 training camps on Wednesday with a three-day session for first-year players. The Ticats, however, will be bringing in their rookies for two days of classroom sessions starting on Thursday, with no on-field component.
Veterans report Saturday, with the first practice set for Sunday.
The team is expected to have less than two dozen first-year players on their roster when main camp gets underway and the majority attended the team’s off-season workouts at the end of April.
The club also made a series of roster moves on Tuesday, adding international linebacker Serderius Bryant, as well as international defensive backs Bobby Felder, Antoine Lewis and Cleshawn Page.
The club also released Canadian linebacker Pawel Kruba, as well as five Americans: running back Jeff Scott and defensive backs Drayton Calhoun, Arthur Williams, Ellis Lankster and Michael Coe.
Kruba played in 14 games last season exclusively on special teams and was signed to a new contract in March but the Ticats drafted four linebackers in May’s CFL draft, including the University of Montreal’s Byron Archambault with 17th overall pick.
Lankster and Coe both have NFL experience and were thought to be candidates to replace the departed Delvin Breaux, who is now with the New Orleans Saints. But Coe has decided to retire from football and Lankster has an injury that would have prevented him from passing his physical at camp.
The team also officially announced the retirement of Canadian offensive lineman Joel Reinders and international defensive lineman Dan Giordano.
Some more information on the new players:
Bryant, a 5-9, 220-pound, native of Sanford, Florida played three seasons at Ole Miss, leading the team with 78 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles in 2013. The 23-year-old was named all-SEC 2nd team in his senior year, after receiving all-SEC freshman honours in 2011.
No full highlight pack on him but he is in a bunch of these clips of the Ole Miss linebacking corps (he’s No. 14.)
Felder, a 6-0, 200-pound, native of McComb, Mississippi joins the Tiger-Cats after stints with the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings in 2013. The Nicholls State alumnus led the Colonels in his senior year with five interceptions and eight pass break ups. His 12 career interceptions tied him for fourth all-time in the Nicholas State record book.
Lewis, a 5-10, 185-pound, native of Chicago, Illinois appeared in 12 games with at Purdue in 2013. The 23-year-old had 24 tackles and one pass break up in three starts with the Boilermakers.
Page, a 5-9, 179-pound, native of Los Angeles, California appeared in 23 games for the Boise State Broncos, recording 34 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and nine pass deflections. Before joining the Broncos, Page played two seasons at Los Angeles Harbour College.