Some surprising news came out of the Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp this year.

During the 2022 CFL Draft many people thought the Roughriders would take another prairie born offensive lineman out of the University of Saskatchewan. Instead of selecting the 6’7, 330 lbs. monster Noah Zerr to compliment 2020 first round pick Mattland Riley, they ended up with neither, as Riley was included on the list of Roughrider player retirements back on May 9th of this year.

Already rostering three Saskatchewan born lineman in Dan Clark, Evan Johnson, and Logan Ferland; having Riley in extension with Zerr in the mix would have made for an embarrassment of Canadian (Saskatchewan) born riches on the offensive line for the Roughriders.

They all may come from the prairies, but Riley’s relationship with our contact Logan Ferland as former high school teammates with the Melfort Comets takes the story behind his abrupt retirement to a different level. Even though they play the same position, everyone is different, and Ferland can more than see Riley’s perspective and reasoning towards making the decision to hang up his cleats so early.

“Mattland is a very smart guy, and you know I wish him all the best,” started Ferland who wasn't lying, as Riley's major at the University of Saskatchewan is in Engineering.

“I mean, of course I wanted to see him stick around, but I think he had some bigger decisions at play with family and I would never get down on a guy for quitting for any reason. It's ultimately his decision, people are going to critique him how they want, but you know what? It's his family, it's his life, and it's his decision and whatever he chooses to do, I support him 100%.”

Check out below a piece from our interview last year with Ferland, asking about his time with Riley before ending up back together as teammates in Regina:

WCO Logan Ferland Interview excerptExcerpt from previous West Central Online interview with Logan Ferland 

WCO Article

Riley was out for most of the 2021 season thanks to a combination of injuries and healthy scratches, but did dress and get into the final regular season game last year on the road against Hamilton. Ferland started at centre that game for a resting Dan Clark ahead of playoffs, and the two managed to get at least one play in together as Riley came into the action as the team's extra lineman for the game.

“Wish we could have played beside each other a little longer. We had one snap in Hamilton together, but I mean that's just me being selfish thinking about it that way,” said Ferland, “But you know what, like I said, I'm going to support whatever he decides to do for his family.”

A family first man himself, Ferland was forced to rest up quickly and get ready to celebrate his brother Ryan’s birthday the next morning following the season opening win at home against Hamilton. 

Saskatchewan will be in Edmonton tomorrow night to take on the Elks.