Saskatchewan Roughriders made a snap decision with Dan MacDonald
From the Regina Leader-Post:
Dan MacDonald wasn’t sitting on the couch waiting for a CFL team to call with a job offer.
Actually, he was moving couches while waiting for the call.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ new long-snapper was working at a JYSK furniture store and planning to return to university this fall when opportunity knocked.
“I was sitting there one day, I looked at my phone and I had a bunch of missed calls from my agent,” MacDonald recalled Wednesday. “I called him back and he said, ‘You’re going to Saskatchewan.’ I lost my mind and started yelling.
“I grabbed my stuff, ran out of the store and said, ‘I’m leaving,’ to my boss and that was it. I was not staying. I didn’t quit, but if she told me I couldn’t leave, I would have quit.”
MacDonald, a 24-year-old product of Burlington, Ont., started long-snapping when he was nine years old. He handled the duties in high school and through his five seasons at the University of Guelph.
The Toronto Argonauts selected MacDonald in the seventh round of the 2015 CFL draft, but he returned to Guelph for his final season of CIS eligibility. He went to Toronto’s camp this year, suffered a concussion and was released.
“A bunch of people told me to quit, that I was done and that I wouldn’t get signed again — that kind of stuff,” MacDonald said. “That’s always in the back of your mind.
“But at the same time, with the way I was raised, it was like, ‘No, eff that. I’m not quitting. I’m going to keep going and give it another year. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I can live with it.’ But I wasn’t willing to give up.”
MacDonald kept working on his long-snapping skills in case someone called. Those efforts paid off Friday, when the Roughriders — having lost Jorgen Hus to a wrist injury — contacted MacDonald.
Hus and MacDonald both are represented by agent Rob Fry, so MacDonald believes Fry went to bat for him. Saskatchewan head coach-GM Chris Jones said he and his personnel group “started brainstorming” after Hus got hurt and came up with a list of candidates — and MacDonald was their choice.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder flew to Regina on Friday, worked out with punter-holder Josh Bartel and kicker Tyler Crapigna on Saturday, and played for the Roughriders in the Labour Day Classic on Sunday.