Defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade walks past “Flo” in the Stampeder dressing room. And Flo went with the flow on Saturday night against the BC Lions, where he excelled in a heartbreaking 41-40 loss.
The highlight came when the 26-year-old intercepted a pass from Nathan Rourke and brought it inside. Orimolade said it was his first touchdown since high school.
“I didn’t know it would feel so good. It felt really good to get into the end zone,” said Orimolade.
“I was supposed to cover the middle of the field but nobody came in the middle. I got drag from the other side so I was out to take advantage of it but the drag guy stopped and I saw the quarterback thinking he was still going to go so I just went where his Eyes fell and the ball just popped up.
THE SECRET IS OUT
Orimolade’s teammates weren’t surprised that he showed up and made the big game. Earlier this season, a fellow defenseman, Sean Lemon, called Orimolade the CFL’s best-kept secret.
He said that wasn’t the case anymore.
“The secret is out, the secret is definitely out,” Lemon said.
“I’m just so happy for him, you know what I mean. I understand the work he is doing. He’s like a little brother to me and I’m just proud of him. I’ve been there, I’ve seen he’s hurt and I’ve seen him cry in the dressing room. Kudos to the organization for sticking with the guy, you know he’s going through tough times but I’m just glad he’s doing okay.
There were questions as to whether Orimolade could thrive in the CFL. He joined the team in 2018 but hasn’t played many games.
In 2019 he suffered a quadriceps injury that sidelined him the entire season. 2020 saw the season wiped out due to the pandemic and then in 2021 Orimolade missed more than half the season with a high ankle sprain.
He said it’s great to be back on the field and making big plays.
“It was a long journey. Long knee rehab, two of them. You know the ankle last year so it feels good to bring a track like this together.”
Head coach Dave Dickenson said the team stuck with Orimolade because they knew he would put in the work and do his best to get back on the field.
“The main thing about Flo is that you never don’t get no hard work,” Dickenson said.
“You know the guy, training lineup, starter, allstar, he always shows up and isn’t interested in just coming to the game. He wants to work on his craft and he takes it seriously. Football is important to him.”
Orimolade admits there were times when he wondered if he would make it back. There were many setbacks along the way.
He said it’s worth getting back on the field and making a difference.
“Hard work pays off, but I think the thing is, if you feel like you’re getting stuck, you have to persevere, you always have more left over. And stay true that you will make it.”
Orimolade and the Stamps are in Toronto on Saturday night to face the Argos. Kick-off for this game is at 17:00