Just a day after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats signed two defensive backs, Hamilton has signed two American defensive linemen. By signing defensive linemen McKinley Williams and Alvin Ward Jr., the Tiger-Cats have demonstrated that adding roster depth to their defensive units is a priority as Hamilton prepares for the 2023 CFL Free-Agency period.
Williams has prior experience with the Tiger-Cats from the start of the 2022 season and is returning to the Tiger-Cats after spending 2022 with the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Ward Jr. will be playing his first season in the CFL so he will have to spend time adapting to the Canadian game, but he will have time to prepare before the 2023 training camp. Let’s take a closer look at both of these new Tiger-Cats defensive linemen.
McKinley Williams is a 24-year-old defensive lineman from Miramar, Florida, and played 6 seasons at Syracuse University. During his time at Syracuse, Williams played in 61 games so he brings a wealth of playing experience at an elite level. The 6’4″ 285-pound Williams appeared in 1 game with the Tiger-Cats in 2022 and produced one tackle.
He also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts for the 2022 NFL season. This professional football experience in the NFL, along with his extensive college experience, should allow him to have a chance to make an instant impact on the Tiger-Cats defensive line.
Alvin Ward Jr. is a 24-year-old defensive lineman from Ahoskie, North Carolina. The 6’4″ 235-pound Ward Jr. has a large frame and has the potential to be a solid CFL player. Ward jr. started his collegiate career at Georgia Southern University, for which he played 27 games from 2017 until 2019.
He then transferred to Mercer University, which is an FCS program in Georgia, he played for Mercer during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. While at Mercer, Ward Jr. played in 9 games and produced 39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. While Ward Jr. has the measurables to contribute to the Tiger-Cat’s defensive line, it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to adapt to the Canadian game.
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