Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Plaza of Honor

Saskatchew­an Roughrider Plaza of Honor inductees

- by Ed Kapp for SP Creative Feature

Nate Davis and Andrew Greene shared a brotherly bond

This year Nate Davis, Andrew Greene, Tom Robinson and Ed Buchanan are being inducted into the Saskatchew­an Roughrider­s’ Plaza of Honor in recognitio­n for their on- and off-field contributi­ons to the club. Inside Green spoke with Davis about this honor and the uncommon bond that led to his stint with the green and white.

Earlier this year, Davis received what he thought must have been a prank phone call. The call was to inform Davis that he was to be enshrined into the Plaza of Honor, joining the likes of George Reed and Ron Lancaster. While Davis, a former defensive lineman for the Saskatchew­an Roughrider­s, is happy with how his career played out with the Riders, he admittedly isn’t sure if he is deserving of induction.

“I think (teammate Andrew Greene) is a hall of famer,” said Davis, a 38-year-old Hartford, Conn., product. “I think he was that type of offensive lineman.”

When examining Davis’ stats with the Riders, many would argue he is indeed a worthy choice for the Plaza. On top of that, it’s fitting that he’s going in alongside Greene, who Davis has had a relationsh­ip with dating back to Indiana University nearly 20 years ago.

“He’s always looked out for me,” Davis said. “When you feel that with somebody, that’s kind of a family bond that you form and I always knew that he had my back and I had his back, you know?”

After his tenure at Indiana University, Davis, who left his alma mater in the top three in several defensive statistica­l categories, was drafted by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in 1997.

But Davis’ experience in the NFL was short-lived. After spending part of four seasons with the Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, Davis had a brief stopover in the now-defunct Xtreme Football League and later the Arena Football League.

After parting ways with the AFL, Davis received an unexpected phone call from Greene, who was then making a name for himself north of the border with the Roughrider­s. Davis decided to roll the dice and join his former teammate in the Queen City. The rest, as they say, is history.

Davis, who stood six-foot-five and weighed in at more than 300 pounds during his playing days, wreaked havoc on opposing CFL offences for much of his six-year career with the Green and White. The two-time West Division allstar and one-time league all-star left the Roughrider­s with 32 quarterbac­k sacks — good for ninth on the team’s all-time list — 164 tackles and five fumble recoveries in 91 regular-season starts.

On the offensive side of the ball, Greene anchored the Riders’ offensive front the better part of his nineseason run with the team. During his time with the Roughrider­s, the hulking, six-foot-three, 304-pound lineman was a five-time West all-star, a four-time league all-star and was named the CFL’s most outstandin­g lineman in 2003.

“Those are two of the best linemen I ever played with,” said Scott Schultz, who played defensive tackle for the Riders from 2002-09. “Nate and I had a tear for about five or six years … You couldn’t single block him, you couldn’t double team him.”

For Davis, who couldn’t help but laugh when he was told that Greene was also to be enshrined, wouldn’t rather share the experience with any other teammate.

“I wouldn’t have come up here if it hadn’t been for him, so there’s six years of football that never would’ve happened,” Davis said.

“It’s almost like we came as a package deal, even though it wasn’t really planned that way,” Greene, a 42-year-old product of Jamaica, told reporters in May. “I’m very, very happy and proud to be inducted with him.”

 ??  ?? The Plaza of Honor outside Mosaic Stadium. (L-P file photo by Matt Powers)
The Plaza of Honor outside Mosaic Stadium. (L-P file photo by Matt Powers)

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