The Calgary Stampeders have signed American defensive back Tre Roberson to a contract that will keep him with the Red and White through the 2023 season.
The team has also signed four other Americans – defensive linemen Yurik Bethune and Tracy Sprinkle, offensive lineman D.J. Coker and running back Aca’Cedric Ware – and Canadian linebacker Brad Cowan.
College: Illinois State
Born: Oct. 22, 1992
Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN
Calgary’s nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie in 2018, Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2019 and a West Division and CFL all-star in 2019, Roberson returned to the Stampeders in October after a stint with the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. He made three regular-season starts at cornerback, recording nine tackles and forcing a fumble. Roberson also started the Western Semi-Final.
“Tre has established himself as one of the top defensive backs in the CFL and I’m pleased that he has made this commitment to the Stampeders,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “With his coverage skills and playmaking ability, he will be a very important part of our defence over the next two seasons.”
Roberson was a member of the 2018 Grey Cup team as his interception clinched the championship-game victory over the Ottawa Redblacks.
“As I said when I re-signed with the Stamps in October, Calgary is home for me,” said Roberson. “I’m comfortable here, I love my teammates, this organization and this city and this is where I want to be. I’m really looking forward to bringing this team and city another championship.”
In 35 regular-season games for the Red and White, Roberson had 104 tackles including four tackles for loss, 10 interceptions including a pick-six, 18 knockdowns, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries including one that he returned 93 yards for a touchdown.
In addition to his time with the Bears, Roberson attended training camps with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 and 2017 before joining the Stampeders.
College: Alabama A&M
Born: Apr. 5, 1997
Birthplace: Mobile, AL
Bethune played seven games and recorded two defensive tackles, five special-teams tackles and one sack.
Bethune played four seasons at Alabama A&M. In 38 games with the Bulldogs, he registered 153 tackles including 33.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, three pass breakups and one interception. As a senior, he lead Alabama A&M with 50 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss as he was named first-team all-Southwestern Athletic Conference.
College: Ohio State
Born: Apr. 18, 1995
Birthplace: Elyria, OH
Sprinkle joined the Stampeders in September and was on the practice roster until he was activated for the final regular-season contest. He made a start at defensive tackle and recorded two tackles.
He played 29 games over parts of five seasons at Ohio State and made 20 tackles including three tackles for loss and added one pass breakup. He was elected a team captain as a senior as the Buckeyes would go on to win the Big Ten championship.
College: Rhodes College
Born: Nov. 13, 1997
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Coker finished the 2021 season on Calgary’s practice roster. He came to the Stampeders after spending time with the National Football League’s Houston Texans.
Coker played 24 games over four seasons at Rhodes College, a Division III school in Memphis, Tenn. He earned American Football Coaches Association Division III All-American honours as well as first-team all-Southern Athletic Association recognition in each of his final two seasons. He was the first Lynx player in program history to be named all-American in consecutive years. In 2018, he was part of an offensive line that helped the Lynx rush for an average of 176.3 yards per game.
College: Southern California
Born: June 29, 1997
Birthplace: DeSoto, TX
Ware signed with the Stampeders in September and was added to the practice roster. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts in 2019 Ware and spent time on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad in 2020.
In college, Ware played four seasons at USC. In 46 games for the Trojans, he had 264 carries for 1,505 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also made 19 receptions for 126 yards.
College: Wilfrid Laurier
Born: Oct. 26, 1998
Birthplace: Ottawa, ON
A sixth-round draft selection of the Redblacks in 2020, Cowan started the 2021 season in Ottawa and appeared in his first three career CFL games. He signed with the Stampeders on Oct. 11 and played three games for Calgary.
Cowan played 23 regular-season games and two playoff contests over three seasons at Wilfrid Laurier University. He missed the entire 2018 season with a wrist injury. He played primarily on special teams as a rookie for the Golden Hawks’ Ontario University Athletics championship team in 2016 and was a starter in 2017 and 2019. For his Laurier career, Cowan had 84 total tackles including 9.5 tackles for loss as well as 3.5 sacks, two pass breakups and one forced fumble.