Just over a week ago, all of Cameron Lawson’s hard work paid off.
On April 30, the 6’3”, 285lb defensive lineman was taken 16 overall in the second round of the 2020 CFL draft by the Montreal Alouettes.
Numerous Gaels have been drafted to the Alouettes in the past, including Keith Eaman (Sci ’72), Michael Giffin (‘08), and Andrew Lue (Sci ’14).
Over the course of Lawson’s four-year career as a Gael, he logged 74 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks. Twice during his tenure, Lawson was named an OUA Second Team All-Star. Following a dominant final season in 2019-20, Lawson was named a U Sports All-Canadian and OUA Lineman of the Year.
— Queen’s Gaels (@queensgaels) May 1, 2020
On draft day, Lawson was referred to as a consistent “warrior” and “team leader” by TSN’s player analysis.
Playing the game he loves professionally has been a lifelong goal for the Brampton native. Now that he’s achieved the feat, Lawson said it hasn’t completely hit him yet.
“As soon as I started playing football, I’ve kind of always had that dream of playing professional football,” Lawson told The Journal.
The future pro said it “feels pretty weird” to finally be in the CFL, but that it was “almost like a rush of relief and excitement” to have his name called.
While the lineman is no stranger to hard work, Lawson said he now has more motivation than ever to keep improving his game.
The importance of staying in shape is at an all-time high for Lawson with the understanding that his new team could cut him at any point during training camp.
Fortunately, Lawson has the equipment he needs to maintain his training regimen while facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The OUA all-star has been a fierce competitor throughout his career and is determined to secure a roster spot on the Alouettes his rookie season and earn some playing time.
“[T]hat’s basically the best way to grow as a football player, you know, exposing yourself to those game time situations and getting that experience,” he said.
Lawson said his coaches and teammates were integral to him continuing to better his craft.
“Whether it be in the weight room or on the field, there was always someone there trying to help me get better as a player and athlete,” he said.
Despite being new to the CFL, Lawson’s transition to Montreal will be a homecoming of sorts. His mother grew up there, and he has family members still living in the city who are excited to cheer him on.
Additionally, half of his family speaks French fluently, leading Lawson to make strides to learn the language during his time at Queen’s.
“I’ve taken a couple [French] courses at Queen’s and [know how to do] basic stuff, order food and greet people, and make, like, small conversation, but I’m definitely going to start picking it up more now that I have motivation to do so.”
“I think I’ll be just fine transitioning,” he added.
Lawson said he’s excited to join Montreal’s historic organization. The Alouettes have won seven Grey Cups, with their first coming in 1949.
“I’m just excited to be part of their team and, you know, have coaches who want me there.”
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