One of the newest Saskatchewan Roughriders – defensive lineman Shawn Lemon – was introduced to reporters on Wednesday at Mosaic Stadium.
The Akron product signed as a free agent with the Riders last month marking a complete full circle in his football career, as he was released by Saskatchewan following his rookie campaign in 2011.
“I don’t want to remember getting cut!” Lemon laughed when asked what he recalls from five seasons ago. “It’s a good thing I came back. It was a good transition for me at the time, getting a chance to learn the CFL game, and I’m glad I got a chance to come back here. I owe this city some good football.”
After leaving Regina in 2011, Lemon’s football career has taken him through San Jose, Orlando, Sioux Falls, Edmonton, Calgary, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and most-recently Ottawa, where he helped lead the RedBlacks to the 2015 Grey Cup game.
“It’s very humbling when you get released from a team,” Lemon explained about his discussion with then-GM Brendan Taman five years ago. “It makes you go back to the drawing board and appreciate the opportunity you have to play professional football. It makes you realize what you did bad, what you did good, and makes you try to find what’s a good fit for you.”
Right now, that fit is Saskatchewan and Lemon explained why he signed with the Green & White for 2016.
“Surrounding yourself with winners, guys like Chris Jones and John Murphy,” Lemon said. “I trust what they’re doing here.”
Furthermore Lemon is excited to line up on the defensive line with Justin Capicciotti, with whom he paired to help lead Ottawa to the East Division title last year.
“Absolutely! I’ve got my running mate with me,” Lemon laughed. “It’s going to be a good year. We played together in Edmonton in his rookie year and we’re real comfortable with each other.”