B.C. Lions re-sign National LB Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, American OL Phil Norman

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The BC Lions have re-signed a pair of key depth players for the 2022 season in American offensive lineman Phil Norman and National linebacker Isaiah Guzylak-Messam. Both players were eligible to become free agents on February 8.

After being let go as part of the squad’s training camp cutdowns, Norman returned to the Lions’ practice squad in early September and would start at left tackle in a 43-10 win over Edmonton to wrap up the regular season.

The former standout at Bethune-Cookman will enter his fourth season with the Lions in 2022, having suited up in 13 games as the club’s starting center in 2019.

Guzylak-Messam was drafted by the Lions 34th overall in the fourth round of the 2018 CFL Draft out of Wilfrid Laurier. He dressed in 12 games in 2021 as a backup linebacker while also playing a role on special teams.

Guzylak-Messam has appeared in 40 contests over the past three seasons, recording a total of 37 defensive tackles, one sack plus 24 more tackles on special teams.

The club has also confirmed the extension of veteran American receiver Dominique Rhymes, as previously reported by 3Down’s own Justin Dunk.

Despite being limited to eight games due to an ankle injury, the Murray State product emerged as one of the more impactful newcomers on offence, hauling in 28 receptions for 411 yards and a touchdown. Rhymes’ 14.7 yards per catch was second behind Lucky Whitehead amongst Lions receivers in 2021.

His most productive season to date came in 2019, his third with the Ottawa REDBLACKS, where he caught 65 passes for 1,056 yards and five majors.