I’ll never forget getting to watch — and later, getting to know — Darian Durant.
After the 2007 Grey Cup championship year, there were high expectations again in 2008.
New coach Ken Miller, who had just stepped in for Kent Austin, had Durant, Marcus Crandell and Steven Jyles in his stable.
Durant helped the Riders to a 4 and 0 start that season with wins weeks three and four.
Due to circumstances beyond Durant’s control, there were still lots of questions as to who the Riders’ starting quarterback was.
I remember watching Durant be the student from the sidelines when he wasn’t playing. Very engaged and relishing every opportunity to learn when he wasn’t on the field.
In a short amount of time, his work on and off the field paid off. He was the undisputed quarterback for the 2009 and 2010 Grey Cup appearances, and won his first Grey Cup as a starter in 2013.
On Friday, the Rider Nation gets to say thanks.
Durant shouldn’t just be thanked for winning, but thanked for being a player whose drive here to succeed here in Saskatchewan led him to be a winning quarterback.