Alouettes sign a trio of Americans

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Wednesday that the club has signed American defensive backs Monshadrik Hunter and Jermaine Ponder, as well as American offensive lineman Donald Hawkins.

Hunter (six-foot-one, 193 pounds) had a great season in 2019, as he finished third on the Edmonton Football Team with 59 defensive tackles, while pilfering two passes and knocking down five other ones. The 25-year-old also registered a sack. The Prosper, TX native played 26 games in the CFL, amassing 85 defensive tackles, four interceptions, six knockdowns and one sack, on top of recovering a fumble.

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With the Arkansas State University Red Wolves, Hunter established a new Sun Belt Conference record, returning four interceptions for touchdowns. In 59 games at the collegiate level, he amassed 222 tackles, including 142 solo tackles, while intercepting six passes and registering one sack. He also defended 11 passes, forced two fumbles and recovered as many.

Ponder (six-foot-two, 200 pounds) was named a second-team all-Northeast Conference after his senior season with the St. Francis University Red Flash in 2018. The Rochester, NY native led the conference all while setting a school record with 16 passes defended (15 pass breakups and one interception). In the same season, he collected five knockdowns and four tackles in a single game. In 2019, before being a member of the Alouettes’ practice roster, he spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans.

Hawkins (six-foot-four, 310 lbs.) saw action with the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers. The 28-year-old offensive tackle from Memphis, TN also played in the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in 2019. Hawkins first played college football for the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers. He was named a 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association First-Team All-American. He transferred to play for the Texas Longhorns, where he started 24 of 25 career games. He was a member of the Alouettes’ practice roster at the end of the 2019 season.

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