The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have officially signed all six of their draft picks from the 2023 CFL Draft. 1st round selection Dayton Black, 4th round pick Patrick Burke Jr., and 8th round draft pick Josh Hyer. They have also signed American running back Devontae Dean and National offensive lineman Ben Koczwara.
As the Tiger-Cats sign and add players to their active roster, they evaluate current players and make decisions about their future with the franchise. Many of these players address depth issues that the Tiger-Cats have as they prepare to start training camp. By signing three offensive linemen, Hamilton has stocked up on talent in one of the CFL’s highest-demand position groups. Along with adding beef to the offensive line, the Tiger-Cats have added more offensive weapons to their offensive skills positions.
Let’s examine the newest additions to the Tiger-Cat’s active roster entering the 2023 training camp.
Devontae Dean is a 6’0″, 225-pound running back from West Memphis, Arkansas. Dean started his college football career at the University of Arkansas-Monitcello (2018-2019) but finished his senior season at Arkansas Tech in 2022. During the 2022 season, Dean had 135 rushing attempts for 845 yards, five rushing touchdowns, and an average of 6.26 yards per carry. He also had nine catches for 81 receiving yards and averaged 9.0 yards per catch.
Dayton Black is a 6’5″, 298-pound offensive lineman from Brandon, Manitoba, and was the Tiger-Cat’s 1st Round selection in the 2023 CFL Draft. Black played U Sports football at Saskatchewan, and in 2022 he played in 11 games as the Huskies made a run to the Vanier Cup championship game. During the 2022 season, the Husky’s offense averaged 141.1 rushing yards and 321.25 passing yards per game.
Patrick Burke Jr. is a 6’2″, 185-pound defensive back from Etobicoke, Ontario, and the Tiger-Cats selected him in the 4th round of the 2023 CFL Draft. Burke Jr. played U-Sports football at Wilfrid Laurier. During the 2022 season, he accumulated 39 tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions, including an interception returned for a touchdown, .5 sacks, and five pass breakups.
Josh Hyer is a 6’4″, 250-pound defensive lineman from Vernon, British Columbia, and the Tiger-Cats selected him in the 8th round of the 2023 CFL Draft. Hyer played U-Sports football at the University of Calgary. During the 2022 season, he had 21.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks.
Ben Kaczwara is a 6’5″, 290-pound offensive lineman from London, Ontario. Kaczwara played U Sports football at Waterloo, and along with playing for the Waterloo offensive line from 2014 until 2018, he has also spent time as an assistant offensive line coach. During his playing career, he played in 36 games throughout five seasons. He has previously worked in training camps with Winnipeg, Toronto, and Saltillo Dinos in Mexico. In 2018, Winnipeg selected Kaczawara in the 8th round of the CFL Draft.
While the Tiger-Cats are building up their roster with prospects heading into training camp, they are also evaluating and making decisions about veterans from the 2022 roster. National offensive lineman Alex Fontana is a casualty of this evaluation process as Hamilton has decided to release the 6’2″, 300-pound native of Toronto. Fontana played 18 games with Ottawa during the 2019 season but only appeared in seven for the Tiger-Cats during the 2022 season.
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Shirley J White
May 9, 2023 at 11:15 am
Devontae Dean ok Grandson❤