May 3, 2023

Cottoy Focused On Winning And At-Risk Youth

Written by Evan Tate- Jevon Cottoy had 50 catches last season for 551 yards, eclipsing his previous career highs in both categories for the third straight year. Adding three touchdown catches for the second straight year, he earned himself the opportunity to work out for an NFL team. For Cottoy however, personal achievements don’t mean anything when compared to the team’s success.

“We had a great season with Nate, you know, setting records, every single game pretty much it seemed like, but we still came up short,” explains the big target.

“I feel, not just myself, I’m sure others on the team feel like we need to get back to that spot, the same spot we were at last year and complete the mission. I had a decent year, but at the same time, if we don’t want a championship then what are we really playing for.”

Coming into his fourth professional football season, the 6’5” wideout is looking to help the Lions find success in 2023 after suiting up for every game of the 2022 season. However, for Cottoy, playing pro football was never guaranteed, and still being able to step on the football field is a blessing in itself.

“I tore my ACL and my MCL, like back in 2015. Got surgery for it, and after a year, it was still swollen, and things just weren’t getting better. My mental health was decreasing because I wasn’t able to do the game that I love,” recalled Cottoy.

The receiver had stepped away from football for two years following the injury and was set to become a firefighter. After a conversation with his mother, he decided to move to British Columbia and reunite with a former coach.

Jevon Cottoy has made a name for himself ahead of year four as a Lion. The receiver is also passionate about helping at-risk youth.

“I played with the Langley Rams and had a good season that year. My goal was to just come out and have some fun because I had never been to BC before and go back and do that firefighting thing. But I came here, I had a good season, and I just found the love for the game again, the rest of history.”

Born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Cottoy moved to Calgary when he was nine years old. Upon leaving for B.C., Cottoy started working as a caregiver for at-risk youth living in group homes. Now entering his fourth season with the Lions, Cottoy has continued the work in his community throughout his CFL career.

“I’ve been doing it for five years now. It’s not an easy job, it’s very tough,” he explains.

“But I feel like a person like me, in the position that I’m in, can kind of help more and more people and inspire them, to show them face to face, you’re not just seeing me on TV or seeing other athletes on TV. That you do have a chance to make it out of the struggle and tough beginnings in life.”

He adds: “I really enjoy my job, two of my jobs, you know.”

Cottoy continues his other job throughout the football season, as it is important for his kids to have a consistent figure there for them.

“A lot of the youth that I work with, struggle with that consistency, you know, in their parenthood, or just life in general. There’s a lot of ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ where people come into their life and, you know, leave very quickly. And I feel like it’s not fair to myself to just abandon them when the season comes around. So, I really take pride in being consistent in their life. Not just in the offseason, all year round.”

Jevon Cottoy has made a name for himself ahead of year four as a Lion. The receiver is also passionate about helping at-risk youth.

Despite the busy schedule with kids of his own at home, he makes it a priority to come into the season better than the last. Every year of his career so far, he’s totaled more receptions, yards, and yards after the catch than the previous year. He’s looking to keep up with that trend in 2023.

“I want to make sure I’m blocking better; I’m catching the ball more consistently,” said Cottoy.

“I’m doing everything I can do on special teams. I’m making sure I’m in the gym. Working on what need to, to make sure I’m stronger and faster than last year.”

Adding that the work of building a strong locker room has begun early this season, Cottoy cites a recent trip the wide receiver and quarterback groups took part in.

“We’re already doing this early with Vernon Adams Jr. bringing us out to Seattle, having fun off the field. Because often on the field, it’s such a physically demanding sport, sometimes you kind of forget about, hey, you can actually enjoy yourself a bit, right?” explained Cottoy.

“Played some TopGolf, we did some yoga together, you know, just building that team chemistry, that bond. I just want to continue throughout the season, just building that camaraderie, and building that team chemistry off the field. That’s what I’m excited about this season.”

With a tight-knit and talented receiving core, Cottoy is striving for team success over personal goals in 2023.

“Being in a group of such talented receivers like Rhymes, Lucky, [Hatcher], and our new addition, Justin McInnis, everyone’s going to eat. I don’t really have personal goals, per se,” he said.

“I just want everyone to eat and have fun. And ultimately, you know, at the end of the day, we need to win a championship.”