With rookie camp set to begin this afternoon, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed five players including non-import defensive tackle Michael Atkinson, a 2012 CFL Draft pick.
Joining Atkinson on the roster are import quarterback Chris Amrhein, import receiver Greg Ellingson, import defensive end Donovan Robinson as well as import running backs Montel Harris and Lindsey Lamar.
Atkinson, selected by the Ticats with a third round (20th overall) pick in 2012, made 86 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception in four years with Boise State. He was named first-team All-Mountain West after his senior season.
Atkinson suffered a knee injury last November and will be out indefinitely while he rehabilitates.
Amrhein played four seasons at Cornell, once throwing for 523 yards in a single game – a new school record and third-highest mark in Ivy-league history.
Ellingson caught 131 receptions for 2,108 yards and 14 touchdowns in four seasons at Florida International. He has previously spent time with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccanners as well as the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm.
Robinson made five defensive tackles in three games with the Calgary Stampeders last season after spending time with the NFL’s New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. In 38 games over four seasons at Jackson State, Robinson recorded 167 defensive tackles and 24 quarterback sacks while earning second-team All-SWAC honours in 2010 and 2011.
Harris totaled 4,986 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns while catching 59 passes for 467 yards and three receiving touchdowns during his NCAA career with Temple (2012) and Boston College (2008-11). Despite playing just three seasons with the Eagles, he remains the school’s leader in rushing yards (3,735) and 100-yard games (22). He was named first-team All-Big East in 2012, first-team All-ACC 2010 and second-team All-ACC in 2009.
Lamar played four seasons at South Florida, where he racked up 3,162 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2010, Lamar was named the Big East Special Teams Player of the Year after averaging 28.1 yards per kickoff return while leading the conference with 842 return yards and two touchdowns.
The Ticats also announced that import receiver Shay Hodge has retired and import defensive lineman Monte Lewis has been released.