Ticats get jiggy with it

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:30 AM ET

TORONTO - The Ticats are getting jiggy with it by getting a ratio buster, a much-coveted Canadian at a skilled position who provides options most CFL teams can only dream of acquiring.

In Sam Giguere, Hamilton has a receiver capable of making plays, a guy who is more than capable of starting, which frees up a starting roster spot for an American. While he was always on the Ticats radar, Giguere, who was taken eighth overall in the 2008 CFL draft by Hamilton, went to the NFL, but never did get to establish himself.

"It's time to turn the page and move on," Giguere said on his first day in Tiger Town. "I'm happy and I'm excited to be here.

"Ever since I was drafted by the team, I've followed them closely and I'm aware of all the changes they've made this off-season. I like the direction they're going and I'm happy to be part of it.

"Whatever role the coaches need from me, I'll be happy to do it. I know every player will be put in a position that best helps the team."

With Giguere, who spent the last four seasons in the NFL with Indy and the New York Giants, now on board, with holdover Dave Stala looking stronger and healthier and with free agent Andy Fantuz, the possibility now exists for the Ticats to start three Canadian receivers.

Naturally, Giguere will require some time to re-acquaint himself with the CFL's unique rules and the waggle, which allows receivers to go in motion toward the line of scrimmage, in some cases beyond it.

"There'll be an adjustment period,'' said the product of Sherbrooke. "But it's the same rules I played in college."

When he reflects on his time in the NFL, Giguere says he harbors no regrets. In the last two years, Giguere sustained two injuries, first to his leg and then to his groin.

"It was a great ride down there, some fun times, some difficult times, some obstacles I had to overcome,'' said Giguere. "But I'm in a new chapter in my life and I have no regrets. I feel like I'm in the right place. I'm 100% healthy and I'm ready to go."

For now, Giguere will head back to his home in Quebec, pack his belongings and will soon return to the Hammer, his new football home.

"A lot of training and working out,'' said Giguere of his pre-training camp routine.

Giguere will wear jersey No. 11, the number he wore in college, a number that also coincides with his birthday.

This July 11, he'll turn 27.

If Giguere is able to live up to the hype, the Ticats have a big-time asset.

Hamilton is in line to add to its all-important Canadian depth during Thursday's CFL draft when it picks third overall. With so many options available, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Hamilton moves down to acquire additional picks. Whatever happens, it's unlikely a talent such as Giguere will be available.

"He's a very talented receiver who upgrades our offence and provides our roster with another great Canadian player," head coach and director of football operations George Cortez said.

Giguere can also return kicks, an area he used to make a name for himself in a rare game experience with the Colts.


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