“Whenever you get a team that goes out, wants you, shows interest in you and signs you to a contract … it’s a pretty special moment when you find that out,” said Deschamps.
It is currently unknown which position Deschamps will be playing when he joins the Roughriders this upcoming June.
Although he is excited to have realized his dream of playing professional football, Deschamps said that he must continue to be competitive on the field in order to have a sustainable career in the CFL.
“I’m not guaranteed anything. You go in there and you try to show that you can help the team win. If you can’t help the team win, then you’re not going to be there very long,” said Deschamps.
Deschamps still believes that his experience with the BC Lions during last year's off-season helped him prepare for the transition from university to professional football. Before the 2015 T-Birds season, Deschamps attended training camp with the Lions and played for them as an undrafted player.
“Whenever you move up — whether it’s from high school to college or from college to the pros — there’s a jump in skill level. At least now I have some sort of understanding of the skill level and speed of the game,” said Deschamps.
Having played as a fullback during his time with the Lions, Deschamps also said that he feels better prepared for the possibility that he may play the position again with the Roughriders. Before training with BC, Deschamps had not played as fullback since grade 10.
While Deschamps’ future in the CFL remains to be seen, he is grateful to have finished strong with the Thunderbirds. In addition to capturing the Vanier Cup last season, Deschamps was the only Canadian named to the Academic All-America Team and was the MVP during the U-Teck Bowl. He had over 100 rushing yards in four of games during the season.
“[The 2015 season] is definitely going to be my most memorable year of college football. To win my last game as a Thunderbird, it was pretty special,” said Deschamps.
A native of Prince George, BC, Deschamps joined UBC football in 2010, but was a redshirt during his freshman year. He saw his most impressive season in 2013, when he had 1007 rushing yards and became the second-leading rusher in CIS football. Deschamps finished his five-year eligibility at the end of the 2015 season.