Stampeders ink Georgia Southern QB Kyle Vantrease, four others

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

The Calgary Stampeders have signed five Americans for the 2024 season, including quarterback Kyle Vantrease.

The six-foot-two, 225-pound pivot wrapped up his collegiate career at Georgia Southern in 2022, earning third-team all-Sun Belt Conference honours after throwing for a school-record 4,253 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He went unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft, later receiving tryouts with the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The native of Akron, Ohio, spent his first five seasons at the University at Buffalo, suiting up in 35 games. As a member of the Bulls, he threw for 4,755 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while briefly contributing as the team’s primary punter in 2019.

Also joining the team for the first time is defensive back Mazzi Wilkins.

The five-foot-10, 188-pound corner has played seven NFL games since going undrafted in 2019, recording three tackles while enjoying stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. He last played in the league in 2021 but was issued a three-game suspension by the NFL to start the 2023 season for an unspecified reason.

Wilkins previously attended training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021. He has also been with the Alphas in The Spring League and most recently played for the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars, registering 40 tackles, a sack, and an interception over two seasons.

The 28-year-old spent four collegiate seasons at South Florida, accumulating 110 total tackles, two tackles for loss, half a sack, three interceptions, one fumble recovery and 19 pass breakups.

Rejoining the Stampeders after finishing the year on the team’s practice squad are defensive backs Clifford Chattman and Tyler Richardson, as well as defensive lineman Will Choloh

Chattman spent two seasons at the University of Texas at San Antonio, after transferring from Texas A&M. He was named first-team all-Conference USA following his senior season in 2022 after accumulating 72 tackles and five interceptions in 14 games. The six-foot-five, 198-pound safety went unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft but signed with the Atlanta Falcons, recording six tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack in three preseason games prior to his release.

Richardson attended Tiffin University for four seasons, making 113 tackles, three interceptions, and half a sack over 37 career games. The five-foot-10, 188-pound cover man was named second-team all-Great Midwest Athletic Conference in 2019 and 2020 and third-team in 2022, before earning a rookie mini-camp invite from the Indianapolis Colts this season.

Choloh was a disruptive presence at defensive tackle over five seasons at Troy University, receiving Sun Belt Conference all-star honours on four occasions — first-team in 2022 and second-team in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 62 career games for the Trojans, he had 200 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 20.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three blocked kicks, but went unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft.