Jerome Messam could have gone to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or Montreal Alouettes, but he sees what the Saskatchewan Roughriders are cooking and he wants to be a part of it.
“The Brampton Bus” spoke with reporters via conference call from his Ontario home on Thursday with the 32-year-old saying he turned down offers from those two teams to come to Saskatchewan, and he can’t wait to continue his career in a place he never really wanted to leave the first time.
Messam was traded to the Stampeders from the Riders in October 2015 in a deal that saw Tyler Crapigna come back. The Riders figured Messam would not sign with the team in free agency back then so they opted to make a move to get back something in return.
“I felt at home here, I didn’t want to leave.” Messam explained. “It was a situation where I had no control in it, and I thought it’d be nice to get back and be a part of what’s building over there.”
Some have wondered if Calgary let Messam go to free agency because of his age and the thought process that his skills might be diminishing. Messam says if they did, that was the wrong stance to take.
“My age is a motivator,” Messam said. “It’s all about your mindset and your training. As far as the physical aspect goes, it feels like I am 25.
Messam played 17 games for Calgary last year and was third in the league in rushing with 1,016 to go with nine touchdowns. He was named the 105th Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian in his team’s loss to the Toronto Argonauts.