The first week of December has been busy for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hamilton started the week by re-signing standout National defensive back Stavros Katsantonis to a 2-year contract extension. The Tiger-Cats then adjusted their football operations staff and hired Scott Milanovich as the new head coach of the Tiger-Cats.
Additionally, the Tiger-Cats announced that they had signed many players, including re-signing Bailey Feltmate and Patrick Burke Jr. and six additional players. The eight announced signings have a common theme: a return to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Several of the players that Hamilton signed are recent CFL draft picks but chose to return to U Sports football for an additional season, and another played minor football in Hamilton.
Re-Signing Versatile Talent
The Tiger-Cats re-signed national fullback Bailey Feltmate and National defensive back Patrick Burke Jr. Feltmate, a native of Moncton, New Brunswick, started the 2023 season on the Tiger-Cats roster as a linebacker but was switched to fullback during the preseason. Additionally, Feltmate is a special teams contributor, and he played in 16 games during the 2023 season, registering 16 tackles, including 15 special teams tackles. Burke Jr., a native of Etobicoke, Ontario, appeared in 14 games for the Tiger-Cats during the 2023 season and produced 12 tackles, including eight defensive tackles.
CFL Draft Picks Returning To Hamilton
Several players that Hamilton signed have a common theme: they started the 2023 season with Hamilton but chose to return to U Sports football for an additional season. Two of those players, defensive lineman Reece Martin and Robert Panabaker, were drafted by Hamilton in the 2023 CFL Draft. The national linebacker also started the season with the Tiger-Cats in training camp but also decided to return to U Sports football for an additional season.
Reece Martin is a 6’5″, 285-pound native of Moncton, New Brunswick. After starting the 2023 season in training camp with Hamilton, he returned to Mount Allison University. During the 2023 season, Martin played in eight games, accumulating 21.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery.
Robert Panabaker is a 6’0″, 190-pound native of London, Ontario. Similar to Martin, Panabaker was drafted in the 2023 CFL draft and participated in training camp before choosing to return to Western University for the 2023 season. During the 2023 season, Panabaker played eight games, produced 24 tackles, and deflected two passes.
Dyton Blackett is a 6’4″, 227-pound native of Canning, Nova Scotia. Blackett also spent time in training camp with the Tiger-Cats but chose to return to Saint Francis Xavier University for an additional season of U Sports football. During the 2023 season, Blackett played in 8 games and accumulated 36.5 tackles, 1.5 quarterback sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and recovered one fumble.
Coming Back Home To The Hammer
National receiver Jacob Patten is a 6’0″, 190-pound native of Hamilton, Ontario. Patten also played for the Hamilton Junior Tiger-Cats at the minors level. At the U Sports level, Patten played for the University of British Columbia for two seasons during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and he played for McMaster University during the 2023 season.
While playing at UBC, Patten played in 17 games and caught 51 passes for 751 yards and five touchdowns. During the 2023 season at McMaster, he played in five games and caught 26 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
Coming Back For More
The Tiger-Cats also signed two American receivers who appeared on the Tiger-Cats roster in 2023. Chris Coleman is a 5’11”, 192 pounds native of Bakersfield, California. Coleman joined the Tiger-Cats practice squad roster after spending time with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent.
Justin McGriff is a 6’6″, 215-pound native of Tampa, Florida. McGriff started the 2023 season with the Tiger-Cats until his season ended due to an injury. He played college football at Utah State University for 33 games and amassed 80 receptions for 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns.
More To Come Soon
During the press conference for new Head Coach Scott Milanovich, Milanovich responded to several questions about coaching positions, quarterbacks, and signing free agents. Milanovich answered those inquiries with a message that those decisions will be made soon. Tiger-Cats fans must stay tuned for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization during this transition time.
Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7
Big Announcement: CFL Unveils Free Live Streaming Platforms
Get Alerts & Stay ConnectedCFL iPhone App
CFL Android App