By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Lindsey Lamar was dangerous every time he touched the ball for the Bulls and the speedy playmaker continues to do big things at the professional level.
The 2010 Big East Special Teams Player of the Year has made the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ regular season roster along former Bulls Marc Dile and Craig Marshall after returning two punts for scores in the Canadian Football League preseason. Lamar, now the team’s primary kick returner, looks to keep a good thing going when Hamilton starts its season 7 p.m. Friday at Toronto.
“The feeling is phenomenal,” Lamar said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “It’s unbelievable to get through rookie minicamp and training camp. I feel so accomplished because I’ve worked so hard throughout this whole time.”
Lamar, a Tampa native, attended the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie minicamp and got the opportunity he was looking for at the end of May when Hamilton gave him a call.
“They always told me that if things didn’t work out in the NFL they wanted to have me. I remember seeing them during the season,” Lamar said.
The Tiger-Cats’ coaching staff definitely has liked what it has seen from the former Hillsborough High School star that’s used the CFL’s wide field to his advantage. Lamar’s preseason debut included an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown in Hamilton’s 33-26 win over Montreal on June 13 and he made the roster after returning another punt 76 yards for a score in the Tiger-Cats’ 52-0 victory over Winnipeg on June 20.
“We were still in camp and my body was starting to wear down. I was just pushing through it,” Lamar said. “It was amazing to make an impact like that. I was thankful they gave me the opportunity to go back to punt return. They had confidence in me.”
Now Lamar, who wears No. 39, gets to use his playmaking ability to open more eyes while he continues to chase his NFL dream far, far away from home.
“It’s extremely tough being away from my family for so long. It’s tough but it’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make to keep playing football,” he said.
Watch Lamar talk about his first CFL game HERE.