New Esk ready to make amends

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:36 PM ET

EDMONTON - Jarome Messam admits he made some bad choices.

As a result of those choices, the Canadian running back was suspended by the B.C. Lions and then traded to the Edmonton Eskimos.

Now with his new club, Messam is looking to wipe the slate clean.

"I had a good experience out there in B.C. It was just a few bad choices that led to my dismissal," said Messam. "But the past is the past, I've put that behind me and closed that chapter. Now I'm looking forward to doing good things, being a good part of the community and the team."

Messam, 26, was acquired on Sunday in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft.

The Toronto native had worn out his welcome in B.C. after allegedly being inattentive at a controlled scrimmage on Sunday and violating team policy by having a female visitor in his room.

Last year, he was involved in a fight with teammate Paris Jackson.

"The biggest thing is not to harp on his past," said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. "When you truly repent, it's important to move forward. For us, as an organization, it's important to say that we're going to give him a new start. We're not going to judge him on the things he's done in the past. What he does moving forward is the way that we're going to judge him."

A product of Graceland University, Messam had a solid rookie campaign with the Lions last season both in the backfield and on special teams.

At six-foot-three, 245 pounds, he brings some much-needed size to the Eskimos running game.

"It's a bit of a change for the team, but I feel like I can fit in, help out and help the running game improve," Messam said. "This is an incentive for me to come here and set the path right. I kind of strayed off it a little bit and I want to set my name right again. The media has painted a little bit of a negative image and I want to right the wrong."

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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