Ticats release 2021 top rookie Desmond Lawrence, add two more to the secondary

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are shuffling the deck in their secondary, releasing second-year defensive back Desmond Lawrence and adding a pair of rookie Americans in Caesar Williams and Tony Collier.

A product of North Carolina, Lawrence joined the Ticats in 2021 and made 10 appearances in his first season. He recorded 22 defensive tackles, three more on special teams, a sack, and two interceptions, earning the team’s nomination for Most Outstanding Rookie.

Despite that early success, Lawrence has spent much of his second campaign on the team’s practice roster. He has dressed for just five games in a crowded defensive backfield, making four defensive tackles and two on special teams.

The newly added Williams played five seasons at the University of Wisconsin, registering 100 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 27 passes defensed and one forced fumble in 48 games. The six-foot, 188-pound defender was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams but was released during training camp.

Collier began his collegiate career at the College of the Canyons before moving on to the University of New Mexico for three seasons. The five-foot-11, 165-pound cover man recorded 55 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and four passes defended in 27 games.

In a corresponding move, the Ticats also released former Oregon receiver Jaylon Redd from the practice roster.

Hamilton (4-10) is scheduled to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-9) on Friday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.