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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."