Blue Bombers sign seven Americans

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed American wide receivers BJ Muckelvene, TJ Hammonds, and Tavonn Salter, as well as American linebacker Darian Taylor, American running back Vance Barnes, American defensive back Javon Jackson and quarterback Jake Floriea.

Muckelvene (5-10, 180, Wingate; born:July 6, 1997 in Waxhaw, N.C.) comes to Winnipeg after a four-year college career with the Wingate Bulldogs. He made an instant impact for the Bulldogs during his first full season by playing in all 11 games. Muckelvene was a two-time All-SAC honors in 2017 and 2019. He posted 107 career catches, 1,713 yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns.

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Hammonds (5-10, 195, Arkansas; born: April 24, 1998 in Little Rock, AR) spent his five-year college career with the Arkansas Razorbacks where he appeared in 50 games, rushed for 543 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Hammonds also contributed out of the back field where he caught the ball for 221 yards and an additional 2 touchdowns.

Salter (6-2, 194, Middle Tennessee State; born: March 1, 1996 in Atlanta, GA) joins the Blue Bombers after spending his college career at Middle Tennessee State. During his time there, the wide receiver hauled in 21 receptions, 297 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Salter also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

Taylor (6-3, 214, Pittsburg State; born: March 30, 1996 in Manhattan, KS) brings plenty of experience to Winnipeg after his five-year college career with the Pittsburg State Gorillas. He recorded 169 career tackles and 4.5 sacks. In 2018, Taylor was selected as a team captain and named to the ALL-MIAA team.

Barnes (5-9, 190, Northern State; born: July 15, 1997 in Bloomington, MN) comes north from Minnesota to Winnipeg. In 2021, Barnes appeared in all 11 games for the Wolves rushing for 389 yards and 3 touchdowns. Prior to 2021, he spent time at Minnesota State playing wide receiver. Barnes tallied 1,287 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns for the Minnetonka Skippers and earned all-conference accolades in his final season.

Jackson (5-11, 195, Georgia Southern; born: September 28, 1997 in Hogansville, GA) spent four years at Duke University before graduating and transferring to Georgia Southern for the 2021 season. Jackson was a leader in the secondary and made his presence felt on special teams. His most noticeable play came against Georgia Tech where he scooped up a block punt and returned it for a touchdown. His two pass breakups against Temple in the Independence Bowl were tied for second most in Blue Devils history.

Floriea (6-1, 215, John Carroll University, Mentor, OH) joins the Blue Bombers after college careers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toledo, and finally John Carroll University. As the starter at John Carroll University, Floriea threw for 2,515 yards and 23 touchdowns. The quarterback also showed off his running capabilities adding another 204 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns. Floriea was a 2021 Honorable Mention All-MAC player as well as a Spring 2021 All-OAC Honorable Mention.

The club also announced that quarterback Chase Litton has informed the team that as of this time, he will not be reporting to training camp (not CBA related).

Earlier on Tuesday, Winnipeg announced the team had signed National offensive lineman Brandon Sanford and released American defensive back Robert Priester.

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