December 7, 2017

Ticats ink five Canadians to two-year deals

Matt Smith/CFL.ca

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Thursday that the football club has signed five national players to two-year contracts, including offensive linemen Everton Williams, Braden Schram and Kay Okafor, wide receiver Jacob Scarfone and defensive lineman Jack McEwen.

Williams, 27, appeared in nine games with the Tiger-Cats in 2017, including his CFL debut on June 25 at Toronto. The 6-5, 293-pound converted offensive lineman spent the last two seasons on Hamilton’s practice roster after signing as a free agent with the team on April 21, 2015. Williams, a native of Toronto, Ontario, played 27 games at defensive end over four seasons (2011-14) for the University of Toronto before turning pro.

Schram, 25, appeared in one game – his CFL debut on August 12 vs. Winnipeg – in his rookie season with the Tiger-Cats after being selected in the second round, 13th overall, in the 2017 CFL Draft. The 6-4, 312-pound native of Manning, Alberta, played four seasons at the University of Calgary from 2013 to 2016, starting 31 games for the Dinos on the offensive line. He was named a Canada West All-Star twice (2014, 2015), and also earned U Sports First Team All-Canadian honours in 2015.

Okafor, 24, was selected by the Tiger-Cats in the third round, 21st overall, in the 2017 CFL Draft. He converted to an offensive lineman at training camp and spent the entire 2017 season on Hamilton’s practice roster. Prior to joining the CFL ranks, the 6-3, 281-pound native of Enugu, Nigeria, played 27 games as a defensive lineman for St. Francis Xavier University over four seasons (2013-16) and was part of the X-Men AUS championship-winning team in 2016.

Scarfone, 23, was selected by Hamilton in the sixth round, 47th overall, in the 2017 CFL Draft. He spent the first-two months of the 2017 season with the Tiger-Cats before being released on July 31 to return to the University of Guelph. After missing the entire 2016 season due to injury, Scarfone posted 44 receptions for 729 yards and six touchdowns for the Gryphons in 2017 en route to being named a U Sports Second Team All-Canadian. The 6-1, 200-pound native of London, Ontario, played 29 career games for the University of Guelph from 2013 to 2017, accumulating 109 receptions for 1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns.

McEwen, 22, played 11 games for the University of Calgary last season, posting 29.5 tackles, 5.5 quarterback sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. Overall, he played 44 games for the Dinos over five seasons (2013-17), registering 73 total tackles, 10.5 quarterback sacks, 16 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. In 2016, the 6-0, 275-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, was named a Canada West All-Star after leading the conference in sacks (4.5).