There’s a new quarterback in town, though the name is not new to CFL watchers.
Zach Collaros has been traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In return, the Green and White sends its tenth-overall pick in the 2018 draft to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Collaros was benched in the 2017 season in favour of teammate Jeremiah Masoli. But Roughriders’ assistant vice-president of football operations Jeremy O’Day said Wednesday that Riders brass doesn’t hold Collaros totally at fault for his down year.
“All of the things that we considered in our discussion is what we think Zach can be, what he’s been in the past … I think we’d be in agreement that they struggled to protect him a little bit early in the season. You can see that from the changes that they made,” O’Day said.
“In this situation what we did was we took his whole body of work into consideration and not just one stretch early in the season.”
That body of work has been pretty impressive.
Collaros came into the CFL in 2012 as a member of the Toronto Argonauts. He played one game that season going seven-of-11 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
He had his first CFL start in July 2013 in place of an injured Ricky Ray. He threw for three touchdowns and went 21-of-25 passing for 253 yards and went on to play 14 games that season, with seven of those as a starter. He threw for 2,316 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions, for a quarterback rating of 98.4.
After being unable to reach a deal to stay in Toronto ahead of free agency in 2014, the six feet tall, 216-pound quarterback was released by the Argos. He signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats the very next day.
Collaros started 13 games as a Ticat that season, taking them all the way to the 2014 Grey Cup against the Calgary Stampeders.
Collaros sparkled in the 2015 season, leading the league in passing yards (3,376), touchdown passes (25) and passer rating (113.7) just 12 weeks into the season.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck against the Edmonton Eskimos that September when Collaros tore his ACL. He missed the remainder of the 2015 season. He didn’t start again until eight weeks into the 2016 season.
The Roughriders are now banking on Collaros going back to his 2015 form.
“For us we’re looking at it big picture. We’re getting a quarterback that’s 29, that’s played at the highest level that you can play at our league,” O’Day said.
While currently on vacation in Mexico, Collaros is expected to travel to Regina in the coming weeks to be formally introduced by the Riders.
- Collaros grew up in Steubenville, Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati.
- Signed as an undrafted free agent by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucaneers, but did not make the squad.
- Graduated from Steubenville High School in Ohio in 2007, after leading his team to state titles in the 2005 & 2006 seasons and a 30–1 record as a starter.
- A three sport athlete in high school and was encouraged to pursue baseball because he wasn’t very tall (five feet ten inches at the time), but chose football anyway.
- A standout 75 yard run in 2009 put Collaros on the map with the Cincinnati Bearcats, eventually leading him to be the starter in 2010.
- Led the Big East in passing yards with 2,902 and touchdowns with 26 that year.
- Started the Zach Collaros Foundation to raise money for local children including providing school supplies, food and clothes for the cold weather.