British DE David Izinyon makes CFL debut with Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Global defensive end David Izinyon made his CFL debut Saturday with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as they took on the Ottawa Redblacks. After spending most of the season on the practice squad the British defender was ecstatic to be promoted to the gameday roster on Thursday.

“It feels like a dream, I’m over the moon. I’m just so excited to be able to help the guys out”

In a statistically quiet debut, Izinyon played primarily on special teams and late in the game, getting in on one tackle. Playing in his first CFL game the team’s lone Englishmen helped Hamilton cruise to a 32-3 win, improving the Tiger-Cats record to 5-5.

The 6’1 240 lb defender was selected by the Tiger-Cats with the 26th overall pick in the most recent CFL Global Draft after a remarkable combine performance. Prior to signing in the CFL, the 27-year-old played linebacker internationally for the Rostock Griffins of the German Football League racking up 272 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss, six quarterback sacks, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and one interception in two seasons. Izinyon also played for the Tychy Falcons of Poland and the Hämeenlinna Huskies in Finland’s top division.

In his home country, the London native played for the University of Surrey and the London Warriors in the British Premier League. Izinyon also represented Great Britain as a key member of the national team’s linebacker core. Before finding American football at the age of 18, Izinyon was already tackling opponents as a physical rugby player.  Now he hopes his journey to the CFL will be able to inspire other British players to chase their football dreams.

“I hope I can inspire them, anyway I can help reach out to the kids to show them more about the sport. I’ll do anything I can to help them when I get back.”

In early 2020, Izinyon impressed at the CFL Global Combine in England, earning an invite to Toronto’s CFL Combine. However, the pandemic forced the cancelation of the combine and the entire 2020 CFL season. Izinyon patiently waited for his next chance. Now more than a year later, it seems as if that patience has paid off, as Izinyon and Hamilton look to make a late-season push and secure a playoff spot.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football