Three teams had interest in running back Jerome Messam, but he preferred to return to the one that traded him away.
The Canadian running back is back in the green and white after he was sent to Calgary in 2015 in exchange for kicker Tyler Crapigna and he couldn’t be happier.
“Honestly, it just felt like home to me. I didn’t want to go and start with another organization. I was there in Regina, I felt at home, I didn’t want to leave. It was a situation where I had no control in it and I just thought it’d be nice to get back and be a part of what’s building over there,” Messam said in a conference call Thursday morning.
Messam, 32, comes from a Stampeders team who has lost back to back Grey Cups to a Rider team that seems to be knocking on the door on making an appearance of its own.
He also joins a crowded backfield that includes late-season star Marcus Thigpen, who shone for the Riders in the east semi-final, Trent Richardson, the former NFLer on the comeback trail, and Cameron Marshall, who looked to be the Riders back of the future before he was sidelined with a knee injury.
“We’ve got some great backs … we all got a lot of juice left. It’s going to be a good training camp and good to compete. It’s just going to make the team better,” Messam said.
In the meantime, Messam can’t wait to get back to Regina and start playing in a stadium that he saw the plans for when he was with the club in 2015 and to help make up for a couple of seasons that didn’t go the Riders way.
“For me, just personally, I feel like there’s unfinished business. I was having a good year as far as me running the ball personally, the team was not having as much success … it was tough. We had coaching changes a lot of things went wrong that year so it’ll be nice to get there and right some wrongs.”
In 125 career games, Messam has amassed 5,484 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. He is a three-time division all-star and two-time CFL all-star.