Esks have goo-goo eyes for former Louisville signal-caller Stefan LeFors
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN
MONTREAL – The Edmonton Eskimos’ quarterback situation is becoming more interesting by the day.
General manager Paul Jones is talking with former American college star Stefan LeFors.
Cut by the Carolina Panthers last month, LeFors is finally available - and Edmonton is clearly interested in the idea of bringing him north.
“He has been on our radar for quite a while,” admitted team president Rick LeLacheur.
In fact, he has been on Jones’ radar screen for almost seven years.
“I knew about him in high school,” said Jones, who is based in Louisiana, where LeFors calls home, "and we have been looking at Stefan since he was at Louisville.
“He really blossomed at (the University of) Louisville.”
In 2003 he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 17 touchdowns as a rookie starter. The following year he led the school to an 11-1 record and sixth spot in the final Associated Press college poll.
On top of that, he just missed Daunte Culpepper’s season efficiency rating record.
“(LeFors) is smart, makes good decisions, has a good arm and is mobile,” continued Jones.
Those are all the ingredients for a successful CFL pivot. But after spending 2005 on the sidelines with the Carolina Panthers and being released this fall, there is certainly no guarantee he will venture north.
While Jones is also talking with LeFors’ agent, several NFL teams are rumoured to be interested.
So far, the 25-year-old (six-feet, 201 pounds) has yet to sign with anyone in the U.S. In Canada, he can only sign with Edmonton because he’s on the club’s neg list.
But after Saturday’s fine debut performance by rookie Steven Jyles against Montreal, there is an obvious question: Would LeFors want to come north to initially be behind the top-rated starter in the CFL in Ricky Ray and battle for a depth chart position with Jyles?
“He’s open to playing somewhere, whether its NFL, NFL Europe, Arena or CFL,” said Jones.
If Edmonton is able to sign the Baton Rouge native this off-season, it could end Jason Johnson’s three-year association as a back-up pivot with the club.
After Jyles’ sharp showing on Saturday - a touchdown on his opening drive and poise under pressure - there is talk of Johnson already being in limbo this off-season.