Wed, September 24, 2008
Arthur looks like big catch
UPDATED: 2008-09-24 01:37:44 MST
By RANDY SPORTAK
Jabari Arthur wasn't brooding about being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs at the end of the NFL squad's training camp.
He wasn't discouraged or flustered or wondering whether his chances of playing pro football were quashed. He was too busy becoming restless.
"I went home and took maybe a week or two off. Then I realized I want to get back on the field," he said. "I got a little antsy and told my agent I wanted to go where they want me to play, so here I am in Calgary."
The Stampeders are pretty happy to see the 6-foot-4, 225-lb. receiver in their midst -- likely a year earlier than they originally had expected.
Arthur, selected sixth overall in the 2007 CFL draft -- the team's third, first-round choice at that affair -- signed a free-agent deal with the Chiefs after not being selected in this year's NFL draft.
Nobody would have been surprised to see the Montrealer -- a three-year starter for the University of Akron -- stick around Kansas City for at least a year, even as a practice roster player.
But the 26-year-old wasn't given that opportunity, which could be a huge boon for the Stampeders.
"Speed, size and his hands," said head coach John Hufnagel when asked to list Arthur's attributes. "I can't say, from the little bit I've seen, I can pinpoint anything I dislike. A player with that size and that speed, strength, too, he has good qualifications."
The Stampeders also added quarterback Willie Copeland and defensive back Lenny Walls to their practice roster yesterday.
A quarterback when he went to Ohio, Arthur was moved to receiver for the Zips (yes, that's the team nickname).
In his senior season, he caught a school record 86 passes for 1,171 yards -- the second most in Akron history -- and 10 touchdowns in 12 games.
He was also a first-team Mid-American Conference all-star.
Arthur's addition adds to the Stamps' already loaded Canadian receiving corps, which features veteran Ryan Thelwell, Brett Ralph and Teyo Johnson. Breaking into the lineup this season would be a coup, but Arthur said he isn't looking that far ahead.
"I feel myself fortunate we have a great receiving corps. I'm going to have the opportunity to learn from some of the best guys in the league," he said.
As for the other additions, Walls spent four seasons with Denver, before suiting up for Kansas City in 2006 and St. Louis last year.
The 6-foot-4, 197-lb. Boston College product was waived by Baltimore in July.
Copeland received a look from the New York Giants, after which QB coach Chris Palmer passed his name on to the Stampeders.
"He said he did a nice job for them in training camp and thought he'd have a pretty good opportunity to become a CFL quarterback," Hufnagel said.[url=http://calsun.canoe.ca/Sports/Football/2008/09/24/6860111-sun.html]http://calsun.canoe.ca/Sports/Football/ ... 1-sun.html[/url]