New Riders quarterback Mason Fine reminds Cody Fajardo of himself

Photo courtesy: University of North Texas Athletics

Saskatchewan Roughriders franchise quarterback Cody Fajardo likes what he sees in new Riders QB Mason Fine.

Fine finished his career at the University of North Texas as the Mean Green’s all-time leading passer in every major category.

“He reminds me of myself as a guy who lit up the college ranks and never really got his opportunity in NFL,” Fajardo told Regina Leader-Post reporter Murray McCormick.

After going unselected in the 2020 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears brought Fine in for a workout in August, however, the was no contract offer following the session. Fine sat out the entire 2020 season without playing pro football.

“He didn’t get an opportunity in the NFL, mainly because of his height, and it’s something he has battled throughout his career,” Riders’ general manager Jeremy O’Day said. “He’s a tough kid and will be a good addition to our quarterback room.”

The five-foot-11, 190-pound Fine played in 49 career games for North Texas. Over his four seasons with the Mean Green, Fine completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 12,505 yards, 93 touchdowns against 39 interceptions while rushing for an additional seven majors.

The 23-year-old has familiarized himself with the CFL and city of Regina. He’s watched three-down games on ESPN in the United States and knows the teams across the country. Fine knows there are different rules and the football is slightly bigger.

“I’m not looking at the CFL as a stepping stone to the NFL and I’m not underestimating the league whatsoever,” Fine said. “I know it’s a great league and I know there are a lot of great players there.”