Former University of Maine cornerback Shaquille St-Lot admitted watching the Canadian Football League draft from his home in Montreal was stressful.
He hasn’t played since the fall of 2019 due to a knee injury that he suffered during practice on Oct. 29, 2020.
“I had talked to all of the [nine] teams and a lot of them showed interest,” said St-Lot, who admitted he thought the injury may have prevented him from being drafted.
But the Calgary Stampeders chose him in the seventh round with the 61st overall pick.
“I’ve been playing football since I was 7 years old. This is a dream come true,” St-Lot said.
There was no fall season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and UMaine had an abbreviated four-game 2021 spring season.
St-Lot underwent surgery in November 2020 and was unable to play in the spring. The knee didn’t heal enough to play this past fall, so he underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure in January and has been rehabilitating ever since.
“It’s about 70 percent right now,” St-Lot said. “I’m hoping to be ready to play in July.”
He will report to Calgary’s rookie minicamp later this month and continue rehabilitating his knee there while also learning the playbook.
Calgary’s first regular season game is against Montreal on June 9.
St-Lot played in 20 games at UMaine and recorded 31 tackles and 15 pass breakups. He also had two fumble recoveries and an interception.
His best season was in 2019 when he had a career-high 27 tackles and a team-high 14 pass breakups. He also recovered a fumble and had an interception.
The 25-year-old St-Lot said he is confident he can play in the CFL and that it is just a matter of him getting over the mental hurdles that come with returning from a long-term injury.
“But it shouldn’t be an issue,” he said.