The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Friday that the football club has signed five international free agents, including defensive backs Jerome Couplin III and Randall Evans, defensive tackle Bobby Richardson, and wide receivers Al Riles and Nathan Ross.
Couplin III, 26, has appeared in 16 career National Football League games at safety with the Detroit Lions (2014) and Philadelphia Eagles (2015), registering seven combined tackles. The 6-2, 215-pound native of Washington, D.C., originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Lions in 2014, and also spent time with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills (2014) and Los Angeles Rams (2016-17). A William & Mary product, Couplin III played 46 games with the Tribe from 2010-13 and started at safety in his final three seasons.
Evans, 26, was selected by the Eagles in the sixth round, 196th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft and appeared in one game in his rookie season in Philadelphia. The 6-0, 195-pound native of Miami, Florida, served on the San Diego Chargers practice squad in 2016 and attended training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. Prior to turning pro, Evans appeared in 51 games (31 starts) at cornerback during his four-year collegiate career at Kansas State University (2011-14), earning All-Big 12 accolades in 2014 after leading the Wildcats in interceptions (4) and passes defended (14).
Richardson, 25, played 15 games with 11 starts on the defensive line for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints in 2015, posting 40 combined tackles, a split sack, one interception and one pass knock down. The 6-3, 286-pound native of Tampa, Florida, also spent time on the practice rosters of the Saints, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, had a brief offseason stint with the Denver Broncos in 2017 and attended training camp with the New York Giants last season. Before signing with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent in 2015, Richardson appeared in 45 career games with the Indiana Hoosiers (2011-14), making 27 starts at both defensive tackle and defensive end.
Riles, 24, had a brief stint with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent last season. The 5-10, 212-pound native of Covington, Louisiana, played 53 games at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette over five seasons (2012-16), compiling 140 receptions for 1,560 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. He also had 14 carries for 55 yards, completed one of two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown, returned two kicks for 34 yards, recorded a 99-yard interception return touchdown, and earned 2016 First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honours during his career with the Ragin Cajuns.
Ross, 26, played 45 games over four seasons at Chadron State University (2010-13) and is the school’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions (23) and kick return yards (1,444). The 5-11, 185-pound native of San Diego, California, also sits among the school’s all-time leaders in numerous other categories, including receptions (2nd – 176), receiving yards (3rd – 2,369), all purpose yards (5th – 3,825), average yards per catch (6th – 13.46) and total touchdowns (T-9th – 25).