Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive lineman Logan Ferland is coming off his second CFL start this past weekend against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
READ: Special Debut Set for Mosaic Stadium
West Central Online caught up with Logan after his CFL debut in Week 1 against the BC Lions.
We asked the big man some questions about his debut, life in football, before football, and more on his relationship with his brother Ryan who we interviewed for the story last week. Also included, was information from Ferland himself on just how much the Roughriders guard calls Kindersley home.
Cooper Douglas: So does the day after a game feel any different after playing with the big boys?
Logan Ferland: Oh it feels like death. Best thing you can do is keep moving.
CD: Well the game was wild last night. I was just going to ask how you handled your emotions with it being your debut, going up that much, and then obviously seeing the lead fall. Are you an emotional player in that regard or do you always try and keep your heart rate at a good level?
LF: I mean I try to keep calm, but it’s very difficult. Especially with the whirlwind of emotions I was getting from going out on the field and the first few plays, I definitely had a bit too much energy coming off the ball. I kind of had to learn how to dial it down and take it all in, but a whirlwind of emotions that’s for sure.
CD: You guys almost played a perfect half of football to start it! You said you were coming off the ball a little fast but that first drive was amazing to watch.
LF: It was, we played very fast and it felt really good. Everyone was gelling really good and the defense was lights out. In the second half our offense just wasn’t clicking and I think everyone was a little winded as well from the first half. Cardio is definitely something we will continue working on, but those were long drives initially for sure.
CD: Well there’s no doubt conditioning is going to be the big one for everyone having not played a game in two years.
CD: So, the crowd got a lot of credit for their work in the second half. I can only imagine the electricity on the first drive, probably the peak, but they were obviously strong all night and how was that to experience as a player?
LF: I mean it’s pretty surreal. You don’t; it’s hard to explain even just coming out on the field when the crowds going crazy, the jets during O’ Canada. The national anthem is probably one of the biggest moments for me. It’s kind of one of those quiet moments that gives me time to think about everything that led up to the moment, thinking about family and friends and things like that. That’s probably the most emotional time, but when you are on the field and that crowd is roaring and you are trying to drown them out and keep your emotions in check and run or pass the ball and know what you are doing. That’s the best way I can explain it, just trying to stay focused and drown out the crowd noise.
CD: Personally I’ve always understood the dynamic of the crowd getting loud to hype up the defense, and quieting down when the offense is on the field. Obviously you are still feeling the buzz and everything, but is there a noticeable difference?
LF: Yes, and it’s always good to have a crowd that knows enough about the game to be quiet when the offense is on. There is a big difference, and it’s a good thing to have or else we would be functioning like BC was in the first half with all that crowd noise if they were doing that to us. It’s nice to have the support of the fan base that’s for sure.
CD: Rider fans certainly didn’t have a rusty performance that’s for sure. What is your personal professional football player schedule like?
LF: Well basically we get COVID tests on the second day after a game –
CD: Yikes I forgot about that whole side of things I guess...
LF: Typically, we would have our rundown is whats its called, right after the game the next day. First thing in the morning we would do a workout as a team, go running and things like that to get the lactic acid out and start feeling better. (COVID changed things), but basically we do a workout in the morning, then we watch film and see how we did, and the corrections we have to make. After that we get a day off and then it starts all over next week for the next team.
CD: Then obviously being in the CFL you aren’t just prepping for every Sunday, you can have a lot of different prep weeks.
LF: Exactly, the days vary just because the schedule varies so much.
(Photo via @MelfortComets on Twitter)
CD: I think when I saw the Roughriders draft pick this year I kind of made the note that he was from Melfort too?
LF: Mattland Riley, yup.
CD: So you guys played high school ball together, graduated together?
LF: We did. We are the same age, graduated together and did play together actually. Right after high school we went on different paths. He went to the (Huskies) and I went the trades route so I was playing junior. It’s pretty cool meeting up again and being able to, hopefully, one day play together again. It’s pretty crazy after this many years to have the opportunity to play again.
CD: Is he an interior lineman?
LF: Yup, he’s pretty much same as me. We are both taking reps at centre and guard, so exact position as I am.
CD: So, that couldn’t have been fun for defensive lines in high school. What year did you graduate?
CD: We would have played Melfort in 2017 in my final year of provincials, and I remember their line outweighed us then, so I couldn’t imagine going up against you guys.
LF: We had a very good offensive line coach in Jarod Koroll, and Dave Rodgers was head coach. They’ve always been very good offensively no matter who they have on the line, or in the receiving core. It’s usually one or the other for them; mine and Mattland’s career there they got the luck of the draw having a good o-line, and then shortly after that maybe more on the receiver/running back side of things.
CD: Was Mattland hurt in the opener, and could the numbers work out on the line where you guys can go five wide with Saskatchewan guys? Because that was obviously the big story going into last week.
LF: That I don’t know because there is only one Canadian tackle. The only way for that would be if they brought in a Canadian tackle, or if I started taking reps there which I doubt would happen unless there is an emergency situation.
CD: So I guess that is a good segue into how Ryan and I talked about how you are a bit of a lean 300 pounder for sure.
LF: I’m definitely on the leaner side for an offensive lineman.
CD: On the CFL site you are listed at 285? That cant be right!
LF: No. That’s incorrect. I am pretty much at 300 right now. That’s something that made me mad for a while now but I can’t change it [laughs].
CD: Ryan said you have invited him to the weight room a few times to try and maybe catch up from the past, and he jokes he can still out dead-lift you but I don’t want to get in the middle of that.
LF: Oh no I am honest about that stuff. Things I have been working on for 2-3 years, he will just come in and start with it as a warm-up weight. Genetically I wish we had – I mean we are brothers – but he’s got something else in his blood that just makes him a giant and I don’t know how he does some of the stuff he does. He holds his weight very well, insanely strong guy, so it can be frustrating putting all the work in and then having him come in and warm up with what your maxing out on. I think I still got him beat on the bench press but he’s got me on the legs for sure.
CD: Natural strength. Also, I hate to break it to you but you are actually listed at 275 on the Riders site.
LF: [likely rolling eyes] That’s probably from ‘19 they still have my stats from then. Whatever, that’s fine because the other teams will be seeing that and thinking I’m a light guy. They will plan to bull-rush all day long, and then realize I’m actually 300 pounds.
CD: Maybe Craig has got something going with the league, ‘hey you know bump that down’.
LF: ‘Bump him down to 250 actually that will get them thinking.’
“I always said if you put my love for football into his body, we’d be in the NFL.”
CD: Another good segue here, obviously another big story-line has been yours and Dan’s (Clark) relationship, both being junior guys, and affectionately being nicknamed ‘Milk and Cookies’. As I was going through this weight thing, I don’t want to call Dan fat, but might he be the cookie side while you are the milk?
LF: [laughing] Actually we’ve got it the other way around. We’ve got him listed as milk and I’m the cookie. Dan’s a big guy, and you know what he may not look it to some people and they might think he’s ‘fat’ – but in those jerseys everyone looks fat even the ripped dudes.
CD: I joked that was honestly the only difference between the two of you guys right now with the whole friendship arc and how you guys are so similar. You didn’t go to university and chose to go into trade school for carpentry, do you know if he went junior route for similar reasons as you?
LF: I think so. I don’t know if he was interested in university besides to maybe play football at that next level. I’m pretty sure he’s got some welding experience, working on Ben Heenan’s farm last off-season, and yes I think ultimately that’s why he ended up choosing the junior route. I haven’t talked with him much about that but I think that would be my best bet.
CD: It’s funny you mention his work on (former Roughrider) Ben Heenan’s farm. I heard that you maybe did some carpentry work for the Thunder coach? It’s funny to think ‘hey lets give the practice roster guy some work, come build my deck’.
LF: Thunder wise I have helped out a few coaches, and have actually done jobs for a few players and alumni and it’s pretty cool because there are a lot of connections once you get into the football world. Everybody knows everybody down the line, so if you can get your name out there and start getting a good reputation next thing you know you have five other jobs. It just kind of dominoes down, and the really nice thing about being on a football team and having all these connections is being able to stay in something, and help out my career after football.
CD: It’s funny the whole dynamic of the CFL like you see second jobs, Jason Clermont being a real estate agent, that’s the path a lot of those guys go.
LF: Like you said a lot of CFL players are real estate agents and things like that. You don’t see too often guys in the trades, or guys working manual labour jobs in the off-season. It’s definitely a grind, but I like working with my hands so I don’t look back on any decisions I made in going that route.
CD: I wanted to end our time here with something that Ryan told me last week. He mentioned that going into the game last week it was just after the anniversary of your dad’s passing. How much was that on your mind when you took the field for your debut?
LF: It was on my mind quite a bit. I mean my dad played a big role in even inspiring me to play football. Originally it was my family that convinced me to play football and my brother was a huge part in that. When my dad passed away, I was 15 years old, and was kind of just getting into football I only had a year into it. With all that emotional buildup? I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I don’t like being emotional in public and don’t mind holding it all in, so the release for me was being able to workout, and let it out on the field, and let it out in the weight room so I think that was a real reason for why I got so big and strong because that’s what I focused that energy on. Staying focused on that really helped me develop my career, and has always been a motivation for me. Going out on the field he was in the back of my mind for sure. Very emotional time, I felt him on the field, and I was just trying to soak it all in and I guess… It just brought back a lot of memories I guess.
CD: Well you certainly used it as a release. Some people in your scenario, you weren’t a football crazed family, but so many kids grow up saying ‘I want to be a Saskatchewan Roughrider.” For so many kids that’s the end-all-be-all, and that’s the motivation that takes it there. Even after everything, you still seem to use the distractions as your motivation?
LF: I think initially yes I was very nervous to start football and that’s why I didn’t want to play. I think that’s why I didn’t want to play, I mean every kid is a little scared to start a physical sport. Initially very nervous, but then they start getting bigger going through puberty. You know by Grade 10 after hitting the weight room, I think I started in the weight room around then, you start getting more confidence in yourself. You can start setting goals of ‘I want to lift this much weight’, and in football ‘I want to do this’. You start setting those goals and chase one at a time. After high school my goal was to crack the practice roster of the Roughriders through the Thunder, and eventually play. Now I am on the next set of goals, and it just keeps going from there. I think it is all about re-motivating yourself, staying constantly inspired, and not losing that fire that originally started you.
"I kind of had to learn how to dial it down and take it all in, but a whirlwind of emotions that’s for sure."
CD: We try and do as much locally sourced stuff as we can here, and you are local, but what is your connection to Kindersley? What is your west central connection? You are listed from Melfort so we can’t claim you but…
LF: I mean it is ultimately my hometown. I was born in Saskatoon, I shipped out (there) in emergency. I lived in Kindersley till I was about 11 years old, moved about 2007. We moved up to Melfort because my dad had gotten a job transfer. But no, I’m still connected with quite a few friends there actually, every once and a while when I go back there I got people to see, and I classify a lot of family there. Our neighbours there were very much like our grandparents to us. I still do consider Kindersley as one of my hometowns, if I’m allowed to do that. If I can do that and split the share, I will absolutely do that. Melfort is where I learned football, but Kindersley is where I ultimately came from and I like that part of it.
CD: Well that’s something I’ve always wondered, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask you for the connection.
LF: Well I’m honoured to do it. Thanks for the interview I appreciate it, and hopefully you can make me sound a lot better than I did.
CD: I have 35 minutes of audio here so I’m not playing it all, I’ll make you sound tip-top. Also I should ask for your brother and his ticket situation. I am sure he is living vicariously through you I imagine.
LF: Oh ya, but he has always been a big support. Like when I went to China (for football) he was a huge support. He was huge in going around Kindersley and getting sponsors to go to my games, helping me out to actually afford the trip. He was a huge part in that, one reason I was able to actually go because of all the sponsorship he found for me with all the local Kindersley businesses. That was really cool and I still try to keep in touch with guys that helped me out. But no he’s done nothing but support me, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for the stuff he does. Very unselfish guy that’s for sure.
(Photo of the Ferland Brothers [Logan on Left, Ryan on Right])
A little bit more conversation about Ferland’s brother led to the revelation that Ryan could in fact outdo Logan in some more aspects of the gym. Ryan brought up the fun fact during our previous chat, and Logan confirmed it as he talked about his mountain of a brother.
“I always said if you put my love for football into his body, we’d be in the NFL.”
Roughriders QB Cody Fajardo acknowledged Ferland and the rest of his offensive line with the promise of a free dinner for his protectors after their performance in keeping him clean this past weekend against the Tiger-Cats. Ferland should in all likelihood be back with the starting unit after their strong start to the season, as the team gets ready for their upcoming home game against Ottawa, before a bye week, and then another home game in the Labour Day Classic against Winnipeg to end Saskatchewan’s four game home stretch to begin the season.
WEEK 1: Riders Hold Off Surge From Lions For Win