The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed promising American receiver Jaelon Acklin.
It’s a one-year contract for the 2021 season. The Ticats’ reigning Most Outstanding Rookie was set to become a free agent in February 2021.
The 24-year-old Acklin started 16 games at receiver for Hamilton in 2019, recording 57 receptions for 701 yards and three touchdowns on 71 targets. The six-foot-two, 190-pound target led all eligible CFL rookie pass catchers in targets, receptions and receiving yards last season.
The Ticats signed Acklin in March 2019 after he attended training camp in 2018 with the Ravens. Baltimore released him near the end of August due to a hip injury. After sitting out the season, Hamilton provided the chance to prove what he could do in the pros.
The native of Mountain View, Missouri played 44 games over four seasons (2014-2017) at Western Illinois University, recording 105 receptions for 1,733 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 21 carries for 255 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Following a senior season in which Acklin caught 84 passes for 1,369 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games, he impressed pro scouts at Northwestern University’s pro day. He ran a 4.47 hand-timed forty-yard dash, recorded a 38-inch vertical, and a ten-foot, three-inch broad jump. Acklin displayed that raw athletic ability on a number of highlight reel catches in his rookie CFL season.
Acklin was part of a dynamic Ticats’ passing attack led by quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans along with play-makers Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison. That group helped the Tabbies lead the league in points scored a year ago with 551 or 30.6 per game. Hamilton has secured Acklin who ranked third on the team in receiving yards during the Ticats’ dominant 15-3 campaign.
Hamilton believes Acklin has the potential to develop into a player the calibre of Greg Ellingson who was a standout rookie in 2013.