Former Trojan making most of opportunity in Canada

Published 8:24 pm Friday, July 12, 2013

Brandon Lang relishes second chance at football

Second chances in professional football can be hard to come by for most. For former Troy defensive lineman Brandon Lang, things have seemed to work out just fine.

Lang, a three-year starter for the Trojans, was signed as an un-drafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in 2010. After spending a year in Southern California, Lang was released with few future prospects on hand. His circumstance, however, may have been a blessing.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I was a little immature. I don’t think I was quite ready for the lifestyle and commitment,” Lang said. “I wasn’t necessarily young in age, but I felt young around all the veterans and guys who had been in the league for several years.”

Lang began working at a Walmart Distribution Center in Atlanta to make ends meet while he continued to work out. His time away from football helped him mature and realize what he really wanted in life.

“When you’re out there working hard hours, you realize what a blessing football can be,” Lang said. “I knew I wanted to get back in the game, luckily I got another chance.”

With the help of Troy assistant coach Benji Parker and head coach Larry Blakeney, Lang was presented with a second opportunity to play professional football. In 2012, the Edmonton Eskimos, a member of the Canadian Football League, were desperate for defensive linemen after injuries had taken a toll on its depth chart. Several phone calls later,

Lang was signed with the expectations — by the team at least — of being no more than an able body.

In his first season, Lang proved his worth.

Last year, Lang started the last six games of the season for the Eskimos recording 13 tackles, one sack and one interception.

“I’m thankful to a lot of people for my opportunity. The Eskimos are a first-class organization. Everything they do is very professional. Coach Blakeney and the staff at Troy are the best. They helped me while I was at Troy and helped me after I left. They never gave up on me,” Lang said.

Lang was a First Team All-Sun Belt selection in 2009 for Troy after playing in all 13 games and picking up 58 tackles, 19 for loss.

His 11.5 sacks that season ranked tops in the Sun Belt and 12th nationally.

Through two games this season for Edmonton Lang has four tackles and is still enjoying playing football north of the border.

“The people here are great,” he said. “I’m playing football; it doesn’t get much better than that.”