Ranek, Hudson and Mariuz all TIGER-CATS!******

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have agreed to terms with three of the CFL's top free agents, Sportsnet football insider Eric Tillman has learned.

Running back Josh Ranek, offensive lineman George Hudson and linebacker Ray Mariuz have all signed deals with Hamilton.

Ranek, 5-9', 210 pounds, had three 1,000-plus yard seasons as a member of the Ottawa Renegades.

Hudson, a 6-3', 300 pound Canadian, was considered by most as the premier offensive lineman available via free agency. The five-year CFL veteran has started at all three positions on the offensive line -- centre, guard and tackle.

Mariuz, a 6-3', 210-pound Canadian linebacker, spent the last three seasons in a reserve role with the Toronto Argonauts where he was viewed as an outstanding special teams performer. He played his university football at McMaster under current Ticat coach Greg Marshall.

Oh Oh, I said earlier in the week that the Ti-cats could be a surprise in the East.

Watch out Toronto and Montreal........The top two spots are NOT an easy lock this year!

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The Tiger-Cats have signed a trio of free agents.

Running back Josh Ranek, offensive lineman George Hudson and linebacker Ray Mariuz will suit up in Black and Gold in 2006 after coming to terms with the Ticats today.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats today announced that they have signed free agent import running back Josh Ranek and non-import free agents, offensive lineman George Hudson and linebacker Ray Mariuz.

"We approached free agency looking to fill our key holes," said GM Rob Katz. "Josh fits in the mold of our organization. He's a tough, hardnosed, community oriented, team player. His familiarity with our new offence will help out our quarterback immensely. In this league, quality Canadian talent on both sides of the ball is essential. George is going to help solidify our offensive line while Ray can help us out by playing multiple positions on defence as well as on special teams."

Ranek, a 5-10, 209 pound South Dakota resident signed a three-year contract, while former teammate George Hudson signed a five-year deal. Mariuz, a former McMaster Marauder graduate signed a two-year contract (plus option).

"I'm excited to be with a club that is really going in the right direction," said Ranek. "With all of the moves they've made in the off-season I really think that the team will be competitive now and in the future."

Last season, Ranek finished fourth in the CFL in rushing with 1157 yards (5.4 avg/carry). He became the first Ottawa Renegade to rush for 1000 yards in three consecutive seasons. He also added 76 receptions for 756 yards, recorded 7 TD's (5 rushing, 2 receiving) and was named a CFL East Division All-Star.

Hudson, a 6-4, 310 pound native of St. Catherines, Ontario played the past three seasons with the Renegades and was the team's nominee for the CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman award in 2003 and 2004.

"Getting another chance to work with coaches Paopao and Kauahi is going to be great," said Hudson. "The football atmosphere surrounding the Ticats is incredible and I can't wait to be part of it. Growing up just down the road, I'm really excited to be able to play here in Hamilton."

Entering into his seventh season in the CFL, the Ticats will be Hudson's third CFL stop after spending three seasons with the Renegades, and three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Prior to signing with the Ticats, Mariuz, a 6-3, 219 pound native of Mississauga, Ontario played the past three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to return to Hamilton," said Mariuz. "The Ticats are a great organization and I'm glad to be a part of it."

Last season, Mariuz recorded 22 tackles, three quarterback sacks and 22 special teams tackles. In 2004, he dressed in all 18 games as a backup linebacker, played on special teams and was named the special teams captain by the coaching staff. He earned a Grey Cup ring as a member of the 2004 Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts.

"Having coached Ray at McMaster, I've seen all the intangibles he brings to a team," said head coach Greg Marshall. "Watching him develop his game in Toronto, I know he's going to be a valuable asset and someone who's going to contribute right away."


Rob Katz.... Executive of the year???

after all the signings the ti-cats have done this year....ti-cat fans are STILL complaining that more needs to be done....wtf?....maybe see what happens this year, then look to fil problems, but going from 5-13 to 9-9 ( atleast ) is a huge step in the right direction....

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i am scared of the ti cats. Thank god they are in the east, and the lions are in the west. I have a feeling Greg Marshall will be coach of the year. Watch out TO and Mont, theres a new cat in town.

i think, the '07 grey cup, in toronto, could feature the ti-cats.

this year is too early, since it takes almost the whole season to develop that chemistry.....just like the stamps last season.

.....good moves for Hamilton so far this off-season.....they've taken a giant leap into contention already.....

This is excellent for us for sure. But it is going to be so competetive, I don’t know, defensively we have to be strong especially considering the east still has 3 top qb’s in Allen (who can still play well), Calvillo and Joseph - or even Flutie is a possibility there. It’s going to be tough.

Mass will tear it up this season. Just a gut feeling

every ti-cat reciever is inconsistant...drop-sies and fumbles....if that isnt a problem this year then its gonna be a crazy year in the east.

and who knows...maybe ottawa's run-and shoot will be a success?

Holy Cow! Should we even play this season or just give us the cup now? (That's a joke). If your defense can cover Yeast or Flick, we'll run the ball. What a way to distract a guy from the Olympics!

what becomes of Lumsden when he gets cut from the NFL?

do the cats sign lumsden for his marketability, and trade ranek, or trade lumsdens rights elsewhere?

kudos to them for improving the team. at least they are not weak-chined as the gliebs.

....Hamilton is a team on the up-swing....you can forget the last two seasons of theirs....with what they are putting together for 06....first place is within range....nice signings... :wink:

they will finish 3rd...it will take them most of the year to get the chemistry needed to string together 3 -4 wins in a row....think the '05 stamps.

they will be alot better in '07, tho.

Don't count on it. Predictions have a bad way in turning differently for some teams.

Agree, this will make Hamilton very competative in the East. Conversely, what does the loss of Ranek and Hudson do to the Gades? Last for sure and a step closer to QC?

Loonie will have a wet T-shirt night, and everyone will forget that the Rens are in last place! :roll:

in all fairness to the glibs, the rens werent getting it done with the current cast on offence.....you dont need a power back in the run & shoot or a good oline.......