Eskimos kicker Noel Prefontaine is a man of many athletic talents, including sporting a four handicap on the course

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 6:57 AM ET

It's time for a pop quiz on Edmonton Eskimos kicker Noel Prefontaine.

Which one of the following statements about Prefontaine is NOT true:

A) he can throw the football 65 yards

B) has a four golf handicap

C) can hit the golf ball 275 yards straight

D) the farthest extent of his field-goal range in a dome stadium is 55 yards

Answer: D.

In reality, Prefontaine can hit 57-yard field goals inside.

But the real point of the pop quiz is to prove that Prefontaine is an exceptional athlete, who has turned heads during his two months as an Eskimo.

In fact, it takes just a couple of hours on the sidelines at a few Edmonton practices to realize that this 34-year-old doesn't fit the typical kicker stereotype.

"There is nothing he can't do," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia when describing how athletic his kicker is.

"He can probably be our fourth quarterback (and) our emergency receiver. He can probably play free safety in an emergency role."

ACTUALLY PLAYED QB

Prefontaine was actually a quarterback in high school in San Diego.

He passed for more than 300 yards in a game. He also rushed for more than 150 yards in a game.

But punting was his ticket to a scholarship in college.

And even though he has been out of high school for nearly 16 years and has been a professional kicker for 11 years, he still has that urge to be more involved on the football field.

That explains why he actually participates in receiver drills at Eskimo practice, throws a perfect spiral on the sidelines and actually practises his long-snapping skills.

"I am still fighting the fact that I have been a kicker for so long and all I ever wanted to do was play football," said Prefontaine.

"Even though (kicking) is part of the game of football, it is separated. Even though (kicking) is important, it is separated.

"So, I go and do those drills (in practice), so I feel like a football player."

If Prefontaine had grown a few more inches - he's listed at 5-foot-11 - and had been slightly faster, he might have escaped his current punting and kicking role in the CFL.

But the Eskimos are thrilled with their replacement of retired Sean Fleming.

Entering Week 7 of the CFL regular-season, Prefontaine leads the league in total scoring with 75 points.

And if the team held a golf tournament this summer, Prefontaine would also be at the top of that leaderboard.

Since coming to Edmonton the day before training camp from the Toronto Argos, his lowest round has been a 72 at The Legends.

He won't publicly admit he's the top golfer on the Eskimos.

"I am not one to toot my own horn," he remarked.

But Maciocia knows the score.

"From what I understand, when we acquired him (before training camp) there was a new sheriff in town when it came to golfing," said the coach.

MADE 62-YARDER

Prefontaine connected on a 42-yard field goal for the winning points in last Thursday's victory over the B.C. Lions.

But his most impressive field goal that night came in warm-up at Commonwealth Stadium when he connected on a 62-yarder with a slight breeze at his back.


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