The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in most of us gaining weight, but that wasn’t the case for a former No. 1 overall CFL draft pick.
Toronto Argonauts’ offensive lineman Shane Richards reported to training camp 70 pounds lighter than he was at the end of his rookie season in 2019 and is virtually unrecognizable.
The Oklahoma State product reported to his first training camp at six-foot-six and 325 pounds. He maintained that weight over the course of camp and started Toronto’s first game of the 2019 regular season, a humiliating 64-14 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Richards missed the next ten weeks with a groin injury, during which he ballooned to 350 pounds. He realized he needed to make a change and dropped a whopping 75 pounds during the cancelled 2020 CFL season through a strict regime of training and boxing.
Richards is still listed at 325 pounds on Toronto’s official roster, though a team spokesperson indicated that he currently weighs approximately 280 pounds. He looks like a completely different person and ready to make an impact on the field.
The Argos have almost entirely revamped their offensive line since 2019 with departures including veterans Tyler Holmes, Sean McEwen, and Ryan Bomben. Additions include free agents Philip Blake, Dariusz Bladek, and Cody Speller, as well as a pair of first-round picks in Theren Churchill (University of Regina) and Peter Nicastro (University of Calgary).
We can’t to see how Richards performs this year with a new frame and a new outlook for his professional career.