Photo of Reggie Cole from cruathletics.com
HAMILTON, Ontario- A second UMHB alum will be taking the field in the Canadian Football League later this summer, as defensive back Reggie Cole was signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday evening.
Cole’s opportunity comes after a successful stint in The Spring League, where he starred on defense for The Linemen, helping the team to a 30-19 victory in the Mega Bowl on June 19.
This will be Cole’s first appearance on a CFL roster, though he played in the XFL for the DC Defenders in early 2020, before the league’s season was cut short due to COVID.
hisThe 6’2, 185 lb cornerback began his collegiate career at UMHB as a wide receiver in 2015, but moved to defense in 2016. During his sophomore year, Cole saw time at both cornerback and linebacker, playing in 12 games with 22 tackles and two pass breakups. His playing time increased to 14 games, six of them starts as a junior, when he tallied 5.0 tackles for loss and 34 tackles. As a senior in 2018, Cole earned All-American honors from the Associated Press and D3football.com, after he pulled in two interceptions. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown, and he also returned his lone fumble recovery for 24 yards and a score.
The Dobie High School product joins a Hamilton team that has won the Grey Cup 15 times in its 151-year history and went 15-3 in 2019, finishing atop the East Division standings. The 2020 season was not contested in 2020 due to COVID.
We may see a UMHB vs. UMHB matchup in the season-opener on August 5, when receiver Blake Jackson’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on Cole’s Tiger-Cats. Jackson, who also had a stint in The Spring League in 2018, signed with Winnipeg on December 23, 2020. In fact, do not be surprised if Cole ends up covering Jackson more than once through the course of the contest.
Playing defensive back in the CFL is no easy task, as the variation in rules from the American game allow receivers to get a running start before the snap, called a “waggle”. This obviously gives the receiver a major advantage, and makes the job of defensive backs such as Cole all the more difficult. Also consider that receivers can motion back and forth while on the line of scrimmage.
Said Jackson: “I have a lot of respect for guys in the CFL who are DBs. If they can cover a guy who is running 80 percent to 100 percent at them before the snap of the ball and still cover well, you have to have respect for guys like that.”
In addition to Cole, Hamilton signed two other Americans on Monday; defensive tackle Lee Autry (spent time on three NFL rosters in 2020) and defensive back Adonis Davis (Abilene Christian graduate). Nine players were released by the Tiger-Cats on Monday.