American running back Zac Stacy signing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders seemed to fly under the radar, but he’s been taking a number of first-team reps at training camp.
Cameron Marshall was released before the Riders hit the field in Saskatoon and Stacy was brought in the same day. The 27-year-old was a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 by the-then St. Louis Rams. He played three seasons in the NFL rushing for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns on 357 carries (3.8 yards-per-carry) and caught 53 balls for 358 yards and one touchdown in 35 games with the Rams and New York Jets.
Stacy failed his physical and the Jets released him in July 2016. He actually retired from pro football in 2017 citing injuries and the desire to take care of his brother who has down syndrome. Chris Jones convinced the five-foot-nine, 224-pound back to come out of retirement.
“Zac’s close with a lot of people that we know from Alabama. In fact, I coached with a guy at West Alabama that coached against him in high school. So we’ve been watching Zac play for a long time. We had a lot of information on him about his character so that’s why we brought him in,” Jones said on Tuesday.
“He was a very productive player at Vandy and he probably didn’t have the best offensive line blocking for him. He’s one of those worker guys.”
Stacy played four seasons at Vanderbilt University carrying the football 581 times for 3,143 yards (5.4-yards-per-carry) and 30 touchdowns while hauling in 46 passes for 415 yards.
After Marshall was released, Trent Richardson placed on the suspended list and Marcus Thigpen having to serve a two-game drug suspension, Stacy appears to be the favourite to start the season as the favoured international runner as the team has Canadian Jerome Messam.