Throughout the off-season the Stampeders stayed determined to bring back most of the players on their 2022 roster that were set to hit the open market on Feb. 14.
With the success of signing back 19 out of 32 pending free agents from November to February and extending the contracts of quarterback Jake Maier and wide receiver Malik Henry in September and October respectively, it came as no surprise that Calgary remained one of the quieter football clubs on the first day of CFL free agency.
However, the club did make one key acquisition at around 10:45 a.m MT – the Red and White added American defensive end Julian Howsare to the roster.
The Altoona, Penn., native spent the first four seasons of his CFL career in Hamilton. Throughout that span he recorded 112 defensive tackles including 10 tackles for loss, five special-teams tackles, 21 sacks, three knockdowns, one forced fumble and two interceptions.
In 2022 he shared the Ticats lead with seven sacks and tallied 30 defensive tackles including two for loss, one special-teams stop, two interceptions and one knockdown, earning him an East Division all-star nod.
And he’s eager to bring those talents west.
“As we entered the window period I was talking to Calgary more and more and after getting to know their coaches and talking with everybody, everything seemed like a great fit,” said Howsare.
“All my experiences from being out in Calgary when I travelled there – it’s a great city and I’ve only heard great things about the organization and at the end of the day I just knew it was a great fit and I’m excited about this opportunity.
“It’s a beautiful city and I’m looking forward to being part of (this) great organization.”
The Clarion University product alongside James Vaughters, who returned to the club on Jan. 25 following a three-year stint in the National Football League, should fill the void left with the departure of Folarin Orimolade who signed with the Toronto Argonauts Tuesday morning.
“Julian is a hard-nosed and versatile player,” said general manager and head coach Dave Dickenson, “He’s always played very well against us and we’re happy to bring him to the Red and White.
“With the addition of Julian and James Vaughters and the return of our veterans, our defensive line has the potential to cause problems for the opposition.”
Amongst others, Howsare and Vaughters will join veterans Mike Rose, Derek Wiggan and Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund on the defensive line. And the admiration Howsare has for that group is bar none.
“I’m very excited to work alongside those guys,” Howsare reflected. “Being in this league for a couple years now I’ve followed those guys very closely and they’re extremely talented up front.
“I’m just excited to work alongside them, find my fit and at the end of the day, also learn from them as well.”