December 11, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Teague SHERMAN stared up at the numbers on the scoreboard at McMahon Stadium in Calgary and didn't like what they represented.
The University of Manitoba starting safety was in his fifth and final year and, with his squad down 42-0 early in the third quarter to the Calgary Dinos in the Canada West semifinal back in early November, his football career was possibly down to its last snaps.
And so the 24-year-old Edmonton product figured that if his playing days were going to end, he would go down with all guns a blazin'.
"All I can remember thinking is, 'If this is going to be my last game, any time I touch the field I was trying to do even more, just one more time,'" said Sherman Thursday.
"Even after they scored a touchdown (Calgary won 57-18) I was trying to block the convert. We had a couple of returners go down late in the game and I tried to run out there before the coach pulled me off.
"I knew that after the season I would train as hard as I could, but I also thought I might have to move on with life and see where the road takes me."
Turns out his football career will have one more chapter. On Thursday the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed Sherman -- undrafted, but a two-time CIS first team all-Canadian selection at safety -- to a contract.
One door closes, another opens.
"This is something you dream of and to think it could actually happen to you... you just hope it does one day and you prepare for it," said Sherman. "But I still can't believe it happened.
"Getting that call from the Bombers has given me so much motivation, knowing that somebody out there noticed me and they have faith in me."
A solid cover safety who is a beast on special teams, Sherman (5-11, 195) earned an invite to the CFL's E-Camp after his first All-Canadian selection, but didn't pop off the page enough to hear his name called on draft day.
But after a second all-star campaign in which he finished second in Canada West in tackles (45) while adding a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles, the Bombers came courting.
Sherman's signing -- along with that of Jawann Westerman (5-11, 177, Rutgers), who joined the club's practice roster in October -- will make the battle for work behind starter Ian Logan next season very compelling.
After Logan, who is 30, the Bombers have veteran Brady Browne, Dan West, who is coming off his first year as a pro, and now Westerman and Sherman.
Interesting, on Sherman's Twitter page he uses this description of himself, which seems a propos now: 'Dream Chaser.'
"During the year it was 'Special Teams Demon' because I heard an announcer call me that during one of the telecasts," said Sherman. "But, yeah, I'm happy to say 'Dream Chaser' fits now."
In addition to Sherman and Westerman, the Bombers also announced the signing of offensive lineman Brendan Dunn (6-7, 296, Western). Drafted by the Bombers in the third round (17th overall) in 2011, Dunn spent all of last season on the practice roster.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2012 C4