There are eight players from Mississippi colleges set to be on Canadian Football League rosters for the 2016 campaign.
Former Ole Miss quarterback and offensive coordinator Kent Austin is the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and he will be on the sideline Thursday night when the CFL seasons opens with a Hamilton-Toronto contest that will be shown on ESPN News. Some CFL games will be shown on the ESPN networks this season and all can be watched on the Watch ESPN app.
Austin's Hamilton squad features a pair of former Ole Miss standouts, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and defensive tackle Ted Laurent. Masoli will be the starting quarterback for the Tiger-Cats to begin the season as former starter Zach Collaros continues to recover from a knee injury.
Masoli took over as the Hamilton quarterback late in the 2015 season and played well through the playoffs, nearly leading his team to the Grey Cup. He completed 30-of-42 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-28 loss to Ottawa in the East final last season.
Laurent, a native of Montreal, has become one of the better defensive linemen in the CFL. He had 24 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 17 games a year ago.
Southern Miss has one representative in the CFL in running back Tory Harrison, who teamed with Damion Fletcher to form a tough running back duo at USM from 2006-09. Harrison was referred to Tuesday as the “Yankee-doodle dandy” in the Calgary backfield by the Medicine Hat News. Last season, he rushed 55 times for 273 yards and had 18 catches for 172 yards and five scores.
Mississippi State also has only one player in the CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders cornerback Justin Cox, who signed with the team in May.
Here are the other CFL players from Mississippi colleges:
Name – Position – College – CFL team
Emmanuel Arceneaux – WR – Alcorn State – B.C. Lions
C.J. Morgan – DB – Alcorn State – Edmonton Eskimos
Marcell Young – DB – Jackson State – Edmonton Eskimos
Thaddeus Coleman – OL – Mississippi Valley State – Saskatchewan Roughriders