Since being drafted by Riders, Canadian DB Nelson Lokombo recognized more in public

Photo courtesy: Josh Schaefer, Athletics

Canadian defensive back Nelson Lokombo has been experiencing the Saskatchewan Roughriders celebrity bump.

Lokombo was selected second overall in the 2021 CFL draft and he’s been noticed by fans in public since the Riders made him a member of the green and white.

“There’s been quite a few times where I’ve gone out to the stores and have had people recognize me, which has been pretty cool,” Lokombo said on The Rod Pedersen Show. “And that’s in B.C. so I can’t imagine how it’s going to be like in Sask.”

The 22-year-old has an idea of what it’s like to play in the prairie province after four years, three seasons, at the University of Saskatchewan. Other universities wanted Lokombo to play running back, but Huskies head coach Scott Flory shared matching visions for him as a defensive back.

“We both had the same mindset for my future and I think the chemistry really built there. I could see throughout my recruiting process that the culture in Sask was changing,” Lokombo said.

“The first couple of years were a huge culture change from growing up in B.C. and having to adjust, but I’ve adopted the Saskatoon way.”

Lokombo worked closely with former Huskies first-team All-Canadian and CFL cover man Paul Woldu. The Regina native won three Grey Cups, the last of his career coming in 2013 with the Riders on home soil.

“He’s one of those coaches that you dream of having. He’s a guy who has experienced so much as a player and he’s won so much as a player,” Lokombo said. “I’m glad that I was able to work with him throughout my time there.”

The 2019 Presidents’ Trophy winner as the top defensive player in U Sports football was one of the most versatile talents in this year’s draft class and Lokombo will continue wearing green and white in Saskatchewan.