They came to a new league, a new country and a new city and they did all of it together.
So it’s easy to see how the bond between rookie receivers Jordan Williams-Lambert, Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore has grown so quickly.
The trio has now become synonymous with the Roughriders offence after few even gave them a chance of making the team over veterans like Bakari Grant and Chad Owens.
“We’ve been underdogs since we got here,” Evans said. “We weren’t supposed to make the team … so to just come out here and persevere through that is what really brought us together.
“It’s crazy how far we’ve come,” added Williams-Lambert. “I think the main thing was just how they said us being rookies, how it was a long shot and to be able to overcome that to where we’re able to have competitions like who has the most yards – who would have thought we’d be at a day like that?”
And the competition is heating up a little as of late given Evans and Williams-Lambert are tied to be the team’s leading receiver. Both men have 764 yards receiving, though they choose not to think of it as one of them being better than the other.
“It’s definitely a supportive competition,” Evans said. “It’s just motivating – you see one guy make a play and then you want to make a play. He makes a big play and it’s like now let me help him make an even bigger play … It drives us as a receiving corps.”
And that’s just on the field, the trio of rookies are also roommates off the field which is another thing that has led to their success.
They met at a mini-camp before training camp even started and stuck together through main camp and making the team, choosing to live together when the arrived in Regina. In turn, they’ve been able to lean on each other through the ups and the downs of the season, learning a new type of football and being in a new place.
“Just being able to have (Evans and Moore) as good friends – I consider them my brothers – has really been a help,” Williams-Lambert said. “They’re here to talk to, somebody to really bound ideas off of and (collaborate) with and just figure stuff out and get through it together. It’s a tough season, it’s a long season and being able to have them to talk to has been a real big help for me.”
A sentiment that Evans shares.
“Just having those guys makes it a little easier of a transition … having guys from kind of the same background and stuff definitely, definitely helps.”
Evans and Williams-Lambert have one more game to sort out who will come out on top as the team’s top receiver, though there will be no hard feelings either way as both men would rather go into the post-season with a win than any personal accolades.