Jeremiah Masoli has been a member of the Tiger-Cats since 2013. Since then, he’s thrown for over 13,000 yards and 70 touchdowns. Last week, Masoli played in his first Tiger-Cats game since suffering a torn ACL in July 2019. In honor of his return, it’s a good time to look at his career up to this point, and understand how he became successful in Canada.
Masoli played high school football at the Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Saint Louis School has produced it’s fair share of talented football players, many of whom are currently in the NFL (Marcus Mariota, Tua Tagovailoa, and Tyson Alualu are the most notable). Masoli had an opportunity in the NFL as well, but that will be discussed in further detail later.
Masoli started the next step of his career at the City College of San Francisco in 2008, but later transferred to the University of Oregon. Originally the third-string quarterback, Masoli became the starter after injuries moved him up on the depth chart. His unprecedented season concluded with a 42-31 win over Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl. He also set an Oregon record for most rushing yards by a quarterback through one season (714).
Masoli remained the starter at Oregon in 2009, completing 177 of 305 passes for 2,147 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He also had a huge impact on the ground, rushing for 668 yards and 13 touchdowns. Oregon made it to the Rose Bowl that year, but lost to Ohio State 26-17.
Now, this is where things take a turn for Masoli. In late January 2010, he was identified as a suspect in a theft that took place on Oregon’s campus. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, and was suspended for the entire 2010 season by head coach Chip Kelly. Masoli was also put on 12 months of probation.
Masoli’s legal troubles continued into the Summer. In June of 2010, he pleaded guilty to marijuana possession after being caught with the substance at a traffic stop. This led him to be dismissed from the team.
In July 2010, Masoli transferred to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), although the NCAA denied his request for immediate eligibility. However, an appeal by Ole Miss was accepted by the NCAA, and Masoli was able to play in the season opener against Jacksonville State.
Masoli’s 2010 season at Ole Miss was mediocre, as he recorded 2,039 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He had only thrown 11 picks through two seasons at Oregon. Masoli was still effective on the ground, though, having a total of 544 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. He even punted three times, too.
Due to character concerns, Masoli was not selected in the 2011 NFL draft. However, he signed with the San Francisco 49ers shortly after. Unfortunately, Masoli was unable to make the final roster, and was cut on August 22nd. After a stint with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (UFL), Masoli ended up in the CFL prior to the 2012 season.
Masoli spent his first year in Canada as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos (now the Elks), but did not see any in-game action due to injuries. At the beginning of 2013, he was traded to the Tiger-Cats, where his career really started to take off.
Although he only started one game through his first three seasons in Hamilton, Masoli got a shot to prove his worth in 2016. He was the starter for 8 games that year, completing 69.3% of his passes for 2,695 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also had 180 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns on top of that. Masoli’s most notable moment of the 2016 CFL season was when he set the league’s all-time record for most consecutive completions (23), achieving the feat against his former team.
Going into 2017, Masoli was named the backup to Zach Collaros. Collaros had been the starter in 2016 as well, but Masoli filled in for him while he recovered from a knee injury. However, after the Tiger-Cats lost their first 8 games of the season, Masoli was named the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. He started the remaining 10 games in 2017, throwing for 3,177 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He also ran for an additional 446 yards and 4 touchdowns, leaving no doubt in his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback.
After signing a two-year contract extension, Masoli had a season to remember in 2018. He threw for a whopping 5,209 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions, while also running for 473 yards and 2 more touchdowns. Masoli hoped to have similar success in 2019, but tore his ACL in a week 7 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Ironically, the Tiger-Cats would lose to the Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup that year.
Now, in 2021, Masoli is finally making his comeback. He signed a one-year extension in January, meaning he’ll be a free agent heading into 2022. The soon-to-be 33 year old knows that time isn’t slowing down, and he only has so many opportunities before the door shuts on him. Despite this, Masoli was close to not having a professional career at all, and Tiger-Cats fans should be grateful that the organization kept him around.
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