Cleo Lemon -
Quarterback -2010-11- Arkansas State
Lemon, who played in 42 games during his four years at Arkansas State,
is the school's all-time passing leader with 7,706 yards. He also
averaged the most yards per game in school history (178.3) and was
the only one to pass for more than 400 yards in a game (403). Cleo
was not drafted by the NFL and signed as a free agent with Baltimore
Lemon had NFL experience as both a starter and backup. His raw
athleticism and ability landed him jobs with the Baltimore Ravens,
San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. He's
completed 211 of 379 career NFL regular season passes for 2,702
yards, and 8 touchdowns. The bulk of his experience was gained with
the Miami Dolphins where he spent three years and started nine of 27
games. He was the quarterback for Miami in their only win of the
Lemon signed with the Argonauts ahead of training camp in 2010. He
beat out a number of competitors in camp to be named the clubs
starter for the 2010 season. The club went 9-9 under Lemon in 2010
as he teamed with Cory Boyd as the core of the clubs offence. He
showed signs of progress however it was the clubs timely defence and
Boyd’s running that led them to their .500 record. Cleo was in
control for the clubs playoff victory over Hamilton in the Eastern
Semi-Final at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Argos would fall easily to
Montreal in the Eastern Final the next week.
His overall regular-season record was 11-14, and he completed 430 of
680 passes, 63.2 per cent, for 5,069 yards with 22 touchdowns and 23
The Toronto Argonauts released quarterback Cleo Lemon on September
6, 2011 after a half-time blow-up after being pulled from a game
versus B.C. He was 2-6 as a starter in 2011.
Head coach and general manager Jim Barker refused to discuss
specifics of why the decision was made or when it took place. Asked
whether Lemon quit rather than being cut, Barker would only answer:
“We’ve parted ways.”
Players found out about the move when they arrived for practice
Tuesday morning and found Lemon’s locker cleared out.
“I was definitely surprised. I think everybody in that locker room
was surprised,” receiver Jeremaine Copeland said. “There’s a lot of
stuff that went on that I didn’t even know about. I’m pretty sure
there is something that went on on the inside that I didn’t know
about, something nobody on the team probably knows about.”
Lemon had been pulled half-way through last Friday’s loss to the
Lions, having completed 11 of 15 passes for just 57 yards (the
receivers also had three drops). He was seen standing alone on the
sideline, not communicating much with backup Dalton Bell, who took
his place, throwing four interceptions.
Lemon left after the game without speaking to media.
Barker admitted he had felt Lemon was progressing in the Canadian
game but would not elaborate on the reasons for the release.
“I’m sad the way it went down, but every man is entitled to his own
decision making,” receiver/kick returner Chad Owens said.