April 30, 2020

‘Dream Come True’

The pick is in.

After completing a trade with the BC Lions, the Stampeders selected Southeastern Louisiana University defensive lineman Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund with the third-overall pick in the 2020 Canadian Football League draft.

The trade saw the Stamps send the first-overall pick and their second-round selection (15th overall) to BC in exchange for the third and 12th overall pick.

“It’s hard to put this into words, man,” said the Dartmouth, N.S., product. “Being here, waking up tomorrow, saying ‘I’m a professional football player, this is what I do for a job.’

“I think we’ve all had that mindset throughout the process but it’s been a dream come true. I don’t know if it’s hit me yet, but I’m extremely excited to be a part of this organization, the Calgary Stampeders, and I can’t wait to get to work.”

In 33 games at Southeastern Louisiana, Adeyemi-Berglund recorded 135 tackles – including 28 tackles for a loss – 15 sacks, six forced fumbles, one recovery, 11 QB hurries and 10 pass breakups. Pretty impressive stuff.

And now, the 6-foot-2, 250-lb. pass rusher looks to bring that same success to the Red & White.

“They (the Stamps) do a great job getting after the passer and ruining offensive game-plans,” said Adeyemi-Berglund. “I think I can rush the passer pretty damn well.”

He’s looking to make an immediate impact, whether he’s complimenting the defensive line or joining the specialists.

“I also think I can contribute on special teams right away,” he explained. “I feel like not a lot of people take pride in those (Special Teams) Units, but I’m excited.

“I was dynamic in college, I made a lot of plays on special teams.”

In addition to his on-field prowess, Adeyemi-Berglund – a pre-med student – earned Southland all-academic team honours in 2018 and 2019, and made the conference commissioner’s fall academic honour roll in 2016 and 2017.

“I’m also an intelligent guy,” he said. “I feel like if we’re ever in any situation on the field (that changes), I feel like I can get it done with adjustments.”

Truly the definition of brains and brawn.

“I feel like sometimes (school) helps me,” he said. “School has always been a strong suit for me, something I take a lot of pride in. It’s something that’s going to set me up for the long run.

“When it comes to football, I feel like a lot of it’s natural. But definitely some of the study I’ve had in school can translate to the field and getting things right, noticing tendencies and that sort of thing.”

That robust mix of intelligence and athleticism should impress the coaching staff.

“They’re great dudes,” he said. “I was just talking to Corey Mace; he’s someone with a lot of energy, somebody I believe can help me go to the next level as far as my play goes and my confidence goes. I hope that he can get me right.”

But first things first, Adeyemi-Berglund wants to enjoy the moment.

After all, it’s not every day you become a professional football player.

“This is a special night for everybody because it shows your hard work and your dedication,” he said. “All the time you put in, it shows in someone selecting you – especially being in the top three picks – it says a lot …

“But spending the time with your family and the people you love who made it possible is number one on the priority list for these next couple of days. Obviously you have to get the work in, the work never stops and just because someone picked you, you didn’t come this far to give up now.

“But it’s important to show love to the people that helped you get this far, and that’s your family and your loved ones.”