Lions ink DBs Manny Rugamba and Mallory Claybourne

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have added two Americans to the defensive back room: Manny Rugamba and Mallory Claybourne.

Rugamba, 23, attended 2021 training camp with the Cleveland Browns after becoming the first Rwandan to sign with an NFL club.

He began his college career at Iowa and recorded 55 total tackles, two interceptions, a pair of fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 22 games from 2016-2017.

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Rugamba then transferred to Miami of Ohio for his final three years of eligibility. After missing 2018 due to transfer rules, Manny would record 96 total tackles (65 total, 31 assisted), 11 pass knockdowns a pair of interceptions and a forced fumble.

He was named Defensive MVP of the 2019 MAC Championship with 11 defensive tackles as the RedHawks took down Central Michigan. Rugamba also earned Third-Team All-MAC honours in both seasons with the program.

Claybourne, 23, played his first two years of eligibility as a receiver at Lackawanna College, hauling in 22 receptions for 360 yards and a touchdown while chipping in on special teams with 17 tackles.

The Pittsburgh, PA native transferred to Coastal Carolina for his final three years and made the switch to defensive back, recording 85 tackles (57 total, 28 assisted), six pass knockdowns, one interception and a fumble recovery in 23 games. He was named a preseason Sun Belt All-Conference All-Star in 2019.

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