Darian Durant has announced his retirement from football.
The former Roughrider quarterback led the team to the 2013 Grey Cup win in Regina.
In a statement on his website Friday morning he thanked all of his former teammates, coaches and opponents for helping him to develop, saying he has learned many life lessons from his football journey.
He wrote that becoming a father this year played a big part in his decision to retire from football.
He also addressed a message to Rider fans.
“Last but not least, to my fans in Ridernation: If you cut me open, I am sure that I would bleed green. Saskatchewan and Regina will always be home. I always strived to be a Rider legend, and I am honoured to be spoken of in the company of George, Ron, Roger & Gene! I named my daughter Amayah Taylor, after Taylor Field. It meant so much to me to be able to play in the last game at “old” Mosaic Stadium. It’s also very fitting to me that I played the last game of career in Regina last fall, and was able to see and hear the fans one last time from the playing field. I look forward to one day showing my family around Regina, and showing my daughter where her father won a championship in front of Ridernation on “Taylor” Field.
I hope to return and visit Saskatchewan sometime soon, and am working on launching a foundation to help raise funds and give back to the community that has given me so much. ”
Durant ‘put his heart and soul’ into the team: Hopson
Former Riders president and CEO Jim Hopson joined the CJME Morning Show Friday to talk about Durant’s career with the Riders.
He described him as a classy, great guy who was very proud and passionate about being a Roughrider.
Hopson remembered when Ken Miller decided Durant would be a starter in 2009, saying the quiet and humble third-string quarterback from 2007 rose to the occasion completely after first getting his chance in 2008.
“For the next several years he was the man and led us to three Grey Cups and we should have won two of those, but we did win the big one in 2013,” Hopson recalled.
“So much of that was due to Darian, his will to win. He was not going to lose, he put the team on his back in ‘13 and he just carried it and we won the Grey Cup.”
Before running into problems with injuries later in his career with the Riders, Hopson said Durant represented stability as a dependable and tough leader.
Hopson said Durant really wanted to be a Rider legend simply because he loved the team.
“He wasn’t arrogant about it, he wasn’t cocky about it – he just really wanted to be one of the greats of the franchise because the team meant so much to him and the fans and so on and he put his heart and soul into that,” Hopson said.
Hopson said he will remember the former quarterback’s shy smile and sense of humour, how hard he worked and how much he was respected by his teammates.
Despite his struggles in his final years as a CFL player, Hopson said in his opinion, Durant deserves to be counted among the Rider greats.