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TIGER-CATS SIGN NINE AMERICAN PLAYERS

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Thursday the football club has signed nine American players, including wide receivers Justin Sumpter (pictured) and Nehari Crawford, defensive tackles Eddy Wilson II, Johnny Robinson and Quindarius Thagard, defensive backs Maurice Carnell IV and Josh Lewis, defensive end Yurick Bethune, and linebacker Anthony Wint.

Sumpter, 23, appeared in two games with the Tiger-Cats in 2019 after spending time with the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams earlier in the year. The 6-4, 217-pound native of Austell, Georgia played in 43 games over four seasons at Kennesaw State University (2015-18), registering 111 receptions for 1,989 yards and 21 receiving touchdowns. He led the Owls in receptions in all four years en route to being named to the First-Team All-Big South as a wide receiver following his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Crawford, 23, attended rookie mini-camps with the NFL’s New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019. The 5-11, 175-pound native of Fort Pierce, Florida played 44 games over four seasons at Duquesne University (2015-18), capping his Dukes career as the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,719) and receptions (190), while finishing third in career receiving touchdowns (31) and kick return yards (1,369), and sixth in all-purpose yards (4,274). Crawford’s numerous football accolades at the collegiate level include consecutive All-NEC First Team honours (2017, 2018), and All-ECAC Second Team (2017) and First Team (2018) honours, respectively.

Wilson II, 22, appeared in two games for the Tiger-Cats last season, registering two defensive tackles and one quarterback sack. He also suited up in three games in 2019 for the Alliance of American Football’s Salt Lake Stallions, recording two tackles. The 6-4, 295-pound native of Pontiac, Michigan signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in 2018 and was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals later in the year. Prior to turning pro, Wilson played in 31 games over three seasons (2015-17) at Purdue University, recording 73 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three passes deflected and one fumble recovery for the Boilermakers.

Robinson, 23, had a five-week stint on the Tiger-Cats practice roster last season after spending time with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. The 6-0, 292-pound native of Apopka, Florida appeared in 42 games at Charleston Southern University over four seasons (2015-18), accumulating 123 tackles (52 solo), 23.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 quarterback sacks, two passes defended and two forced fumbles. Robinson was a First Team All-Big South Conference choice in 2017 and 2018.

Thagard, 24, spent time with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills earlier in 2019. The 6-4, 290-pound native of Luverne, Alabama played 24 games over two seasons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2017-18), registering 61 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks and one pass knock down. Thagard also played at Itawamba Community College before transferring to the UAB.

Carnell IV, 25, appeared in one game for the Tiger-Cats in 2019 – his CFL debut November 2 against the Toronto Argonauts – after spending the majority of the season on the team’s practice roster. He played 24 games over two seasons at the University of North Alabama (2016-17), recording 64 tackles, six interceptions and 20 pass breakups. The 5-10, 180-pound native of San Diego, California spent two seasons at Grossmont College (2014-15) in California prior to his transfer to UNA. Carnell IV was named first-team All-Conference in 2014 and second-team All-Conference in 2015, as well as being voted Best Defensive Player during his time as a Griffin.

Lewis, 23, attended rookie mini-camp with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in 2019. Prior to turning pro, he played in 51 games over four seasons at Eastern Washington University (2015-18) after redshirting in 2014. The 6-0, 190-pound native of Lakewood, Washington registered 151 total tackles, 10 interceptions, 33 passes defended, two quarterback sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery overall, and was named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team in every year he played for the Eagles.

Bethune, 22, spent five weeks on the Tiger-Cats practice roster last season after attending training camp with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons as an outside linebacker. The 6-4, 210-pound native of Mobile, Alabama made 38 appearances over four seasons (2015-18) at Alabama A&M University registering 153 total tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, three pass breakups and one interception for the Bulldogs. Bethune was a first-team selection on the All-SWAC defense and was a BOXTOROW All-American in 2018.

Wint, 24, played two games with the NFL’s New York Jets in 2018, registering one tackle and one forced fumble. Prior to turning pro, the 6-0, 230-pound native of Homestead, Florida played 45 games over four seasons at Florida International University (2014-17), registering 336 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 quarterback sacks, one interception, six passes defended, three forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. Wint was a Second Team All-Conference USA selection in three consecutive seasons (2015-17).

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