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BC Lions Sign 2 American Defensive Players

The BC Lions announced on Friday the signing of 2 American players. The Lions have added defensive lineman Jonah Tavai and defensive back Chris Cooper.

DL Jonah Tavai – San Diego State (25 y/o, 5’10, 283 lbs)

Jonah Tavai played his first season of college ball in 2018 with El Camino Community College contributing 13 solo tackles, 21 assists, and 1.5 sacks.

Tavai played for San Diego State from 2019 to 2022. At San Diego, he played in 48 games with 33 starts compiling 77 solo tackles, 70 assisted tackles, 24 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He was named First Team All-Mountain West in his senior in 2022 during which he made 10.5 sacks and 60 total tackles. In 2021 he was selected to the Action Network’s First Team All-American Conference team.

Jonah Tavai was described by NFL Draft Buzz to have a “strong core and powerful hands to shed blockers, and he shows excellent instincts with the ability to quickly locate the ball.”

Jonah Tavai has 3 older brothers including J.R. Tavai who played for the Lions in 2021 making 15 tackles. His brother Jahlani Tavai was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2019 and has been with the New England Patriots since 2021. Justus Tavai attended the Patriots’ training camp in 2023.

DB Chris Cooper – Stony Brook (25 y/o, 5’11, 200 lbs)

Chris Cooper played for Stony Brook from 2015 to 2017 after playing his first season at the JuCo level. He played in 33 games with 21 starts at Stony Brook where he contributed 77 solo tackles, 70 assisted tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 9 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and a sack. He was named Second-Team All-CAA in 2017.

Cooper signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent passing on offers from the Seahawks and Redskins in 2018. He spent time with different NFL practice squads from 2018 to 2022 with different NFL teams including the Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cooper was drafted by the St Louis BattleHawks in the XFL Supplemental Draft in 2023. He played in 9 games with 3 starts with the Battlehawks contributing 18 solo tackles and 11 assisted tackles.

Jonathan Clink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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