After a quiet off-season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the process of acquiring new evaluating and acquiring new talent has started with the Tiger-Cats signing two defensive backs. Hamilton has signed American defensive back RJ Rountree and National defensive back Zach Herzog.
The 2023 season will be the first CFL season for both players, and it will be interesting to see how both players learn the details of professional Canadian football that sets it apart from the football experience both bring from playing NCAA in the United States. Along with adjusting to the rules of the CFL, both players will need to push themselves to compete in training camp for a spot on the Tiger-Cats roster. Let’s take a look at both players in more detail.
RJ Rountree is a 24-year-old American defensive back that is from Silver Springs, Maryland. Rountree started his collegiate career at Concord University (2016 – 2017), then transferred to Bowie State University (2019), and finished his college career at Virginia Union University in 2022. The 6’0″ 195-pound Rountree played 11 games during his Senior year at Virginia Union.
During the 2022 season, he produced 35 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, 1 interception, and 2 blocked kicks. Rountree’s diverse experiences in college football could be an advantage since he has already shown the ability to adapt and fit in with new teams and systems.
Zach Herzog is a 25-year-old National defensive back from Windsor, Ontario. The 5’9″ 192-pound Herzog played at Hillsdale College in Michigan from 2017 until 2021. While at Hillsdale, Herzog played in 30 games and produced 244 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 3 interceptions.
He was also named 1st team All-GMAC (Great Midwestern Athletic Conference) in 2019. In 2022, Herzog was a 7th-round draft pick for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Roughriders selected Herzog with the 63rd pick in the 2022 CFL Draft.
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