Following a five-year career with the University of Manitoba Bisons football team, in which he was named a first team all-Canadian in each of his final two seasons, Teague Sherman was signed to a contract by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League on Dec. 13, 2012. The Edmonton native will be in a training camp for the Bombers in June competing for a roster spot. The Manitoban caught up with him this past week for an interview.
Just to start off, could you tell me about your football career thus far? What has it taken to get you to this point in your career?
Well, it’s been an amazing journey so far; I would love to say that it was easy and just came natural, but that is not the case. At the beginning of my football career way back when, it was pure talent that had gotten me by. [I was named] league MVP in grade 12 in football and basketball. I relied on my athleticism, but after high school realized I needed to train and put in a lot of work. [The] problem was that I didn’t realize how much work, and what it really took.
I played junior for the Victoria Rebels in ‘06 and ‘07 and then was recruited to Manitoba by coach Dobie. At this point, a rookie, I trained and worked hard and earned a starting spot in training camp, beating out a few vets for the spot. However, what I thought was training following the season was definitely not! [For the] next two years I trained, but it was nowhere near what I needed to excel. After my third year, [the] coaches basically told me I was fat and out of shape and that if I wanted to further my football career and play professional, I needed to make a change.
I then started training with Elite Performance, and a speed coach by the name of Glen Bruce, and both took my game and body to a whole other level! [I was] training two to three times a day from field workouts to gym workouts to track workouts. Everything I could do, I did.
One good season led me to be an all-Canadian and invited to the [CFL Draft] combine, which was an amazing experience, [and] then a chance to get drafted. But every dream can’t come true and that just made me work even harder.
How did you find out that you had been signed by the Bombers? Were you aware they were interested in you?
After the combine concluded, I got myself an agent by the name of Rob Fry based out of Edmonton. Himself, along with David Siddal, were the ones who called one after another informing me that the Blue Bombers were interested, and that we were going to progress further along in the signing process. I was super excited, still am, and was just lost [for] words knowing that I was about to (potentially) be a professional football player.
As a Canadian, you’ll have non-import status in the CFL. This likely increases your chances of making the roster this season for the Bombers, but it also means you are likely to start on special teams with Cauchy Muamba as the starting safety. How comfortable are you playing special teams, and, if called upon, could you play another defensive back position?
Special teams is something I pride myself on. During the season a broadcaster made a reference that I was a “special teams demon” out there, and I believe that nickname resembles what I try to do on the field. Cauchy Muamba is the starter, and well deserved. I have tons of respect for the guy and haven’t even met him yet! I’m prepared to play specials or anything else they what from me – if that be another position, doesn’t matter to me. I just wanna help the team in any way possible! Those who do know me well, I’m a team player and will play whatever position you need me to play, which makes our team better.
The Bisons and the Bombers are both scheduled to play at the brand-new Investors Group Field this season. Are you excited for the upgrade, and is it nice to know that your former coaches and teammates are just down the hall?
It’s going to be incredible to be able to walk down the hall and talk with my old teammates! The connections and friendships you make in university last forever, and I get some more time with these guys face-to-face! Once a Bison, always a Bison!
I wished I had gotten to play in the stadium last year and was upset about it but now I get that second chance that the graduating players didn’t get, so I’m totally playing for them.