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CFL’s top rusher Jerome Messam heads home for first Grey Cup Add to ...

Jerome Messam is going home for his first Grey Cup after seven seasons and five CFL teams.

The CFL’s leading rusher will play a prominent role for the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Redblacks . Messam, 31, played high-school ball at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in the Toronto suburb of Brampton.

“It’s my first Grey Cup. It’s been seven years. I’m trying to keep my emotions at bay right now,” he said. “I know when we get out there on Sunday, it’s going to be just a feeling of me arriving. I’m going to have a lot of family there to support me. My lady’s there. She’s pregnant right now, so I’ll be home chilling with them.”

A punishing running back at six-foot-three and 254 pounds, Messam gained a foothold in Calgary after stops in B.C., Edmonton, Montreal and Saskatchewan that lasted two seasons or less.

He topped the CFL in rushing with 1,198 yards in 2016 and was one of two players to surpass 1,000. He totalled 485 passing yards and ranked second in touchdowns with a combined 12 on the ground and in the air.

Messam’s body of work earned him consideration for the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian award for a second time in his career.

“I’m very blessed for it to unfold like this,” Messam said. “Hopefully, I can win the award, win the game on Sunday at home in front of family and friends. Can’t write the script any better.”

Other Stampeders playing a Grey Cup in their hometown are defensive back Junior Turner and defensive lineman Quinn Smith.

“It’s a fun place to come to work. Guys believe in our coaches and they believe in us and I think it shows on the field,” Messam said. “Speaking for the offence, coach [Dave Dickenson] knows the ins and outs like a genius.

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