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January 3, 2018

Collaros just reaching ‘age of maturity’

REGINA — What do the Saskatchewan Roughriders see in Zach Collaros?

The Riders acquired the veteran quarterback on Wednesday, surrendering the 10th overall pick in the upcoming CFL Draft to do so in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Earlier this week, CFL.ca’s Jamie Nye wrote about Collaros and his upside as a potential bounce back candidate for 2018.

“There was no doubt who the best quarterback in the CFL was a few years ago when Zach Collaros was leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before an injury derailed his season,”  Nye wrote.

“He turns 30 this season and that has always been the age of maturity for most quarterbacks in the CFL when they seem to take it to the next level. All Collaros needs is a new lease on his career.”

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The Riders acquired Zach Collaros for a second round pick (10th overall) in this year’s draft (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

With the Riders, Collaros is getting just that. The 29-year-old Cincinnati product has a chance to start for a contender, putting last year’s struggles behind him and hitting the reset button on his CFL career.

Collaros hasn’t regained his early success after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2015. Still, the Riders’ new quarterback has the resume of an upper-echelon starter in the three-down game.

“I think the Riders see what everybody saw in 2014 and 2015 and when he came back in 2016, which is a quarterback that can run an efficient offence and high-calibre offence,” Nye added, expanding on the deal on Wednesday morning. “At the age of 29 and turning 30 this year, I think that’s the perfect age.

“Darian Durant won the Grey Cup at the age of 31 for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That was his first Grey Cup victory,” Nye continued. “Go through the years on all the quarterbacks and 29, 30, 31 years old I think is when you see some peak performances at the QB and mature quarterbacks and that’s exactly what the Riders have in Zach Collaros.

“If he can get back to 2015, I think this is a fantastic deal for the Riders.”

Nye also tweeted on Wednesday that Jeremy O’Day and the Riders are working on a new contract for Collaros.

The Riders’ new quarterback is a veteran of six CFL seasons. After spending his first two with the Toronto Argonauts, he then joined the Ticats in 2014 to become the team’s starting quarterback.

Over the last four seasons with the Ticats, Collaros has completed 67 per cent of his passes for 11,342 yards and 66 touchdowns while starting 43 of 53 regular-season games. He also started two playoff games and the 2014 Grey Cup.

Collaros was named the Tiger-Cats’ nominee as Most Outstanding Player in 2014 and 2015.

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