Run Ronney, run

Stamps special teams coach Trey Junkin, left, introduces new kick returner Ronney Jenkins to...

Stamps special teams coach Trey Junkin, left, introduces new kick returner Ronney Jenkins to McMahon Stadium yesterday. Junkin can’t forget taking a huge hit from Jenkins when they met in the NFL. Junkin has high hopes for the new addition. (Jack Cusano, Calgary Sun)

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

A collective gasp came over the crowd yesterday when Ronney Jenkins announced he was a good friend of the Feterik clan. As a teammate of quarterback Kevin Feterik in college, the running back/returner admitted the main reason he wanted to come to the CFL was to play for Michael Feterik's team.

But Jenkins brings such an impressive resume with him that nobody is going to claim the Calgary Stampeders only signed him because he's a friend of the Feteriks.

Fans will probably be thankful Jenkins is a pal of Michael Feterik's once they see the former NFL Pro Bowler return a kick.

"I've known the owner for a while," said Jenkins to a gathered media scrum yesterday following practice, at which he was a spectator.

"I went to BYU with his son. And I heard you guys were kind of hard on Kevin. I'm familiar with the owner, I know him very well. They wanted me to come up here."

In fact, Jenkins wanted dearly to play football this season, so he decided not to wait for another NFL opportunity.

After getting released by the New Orleans Saints three weeks ago, Jenkins pressured his agent into getting a deal done with the Stampeders. Jenkins signed a one-year-plus-an-option deal yesterday, meaning he can explore NFL offers in the off-season.

But the 27-year-old Los Angeles native -- a four-year NFL veteran -- isn't ruling out a long CFL career.

"It's really not about what my agent wants, it's about what I want," Jenkins said. "The NFL isn't always about the best player. It's more about the numbers and the money.

"At this point in my life, I'm dealing with the money. I would like to make a career here. I don't look down on this league because the NFL is bigger. It's football and I'm a competitor. I'm out here to compete."

Special teams coach Trey Junkin couldn't be happier to have Jenkins in the fold.

The Stamps haven't returned a kickoff, punt or a field goal for a touchdown this season and could use a boost in that department. Junkin will also put the 27-year-old on coverage units to utilize his 4.2-second 40-yard speed.

When Junkin was a member of the Arizona Cardinals in 2000, he can recall playing against Jenkins, who was starring with the San Diego Chargers. An 18-year NFL veteran at the time, Junkin was hit so hard by a Jenkins block, the long-snapper/special teams ace went crashing to the turf.

"Anytime somebody sneaks up and hits you from the blind side and lands you on your ear, you remember that," Junkin said yesterday.

"I remember getting hit and going back to the film to see who it was. It was that damn rookie from Northern Arizona.

"He's just a special talent."

Junkin also hopes Jenkins will bring a professional attitude to the Stamps.

After spending four seasons in the NFL with San Diego (2000-02) and Oakland (2003), Jenkins was surprised with the laid-back practice he witnessed yesterday.

"In the NFL, you're always watching over your shoulder to see who's going to steal your job," Jenkins said. "This seems more relaxed and fun."

Although he wasn't in drills yesterday, there's a good chance Jenkins will dress Friday against B.C. and return kicks.

He likely won't be inserted on offence until he's comfortable with the playbook.

With the Stamps floundering at 2-11, Jenkins is confident he can provide an immediate boost to the club.

"Teams can turn around at any time," Jenkins said. "This team could struggle for three years but turn it around.

"I feel like I can bring a lot to this team, I can bring a lot to any team.

"If I'm playing, I think we do some great things."


Videos

Photos