Cold shoulder for Jenkins

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

Five games into his CFL tenure with the Calgary Stampeders, Ronney Jenkins had found a home.

So for the first time in his life, the running back left the comfortable California sun this off-season.

After signing a contract extension immediately following the 2004 season, in which he joined the Stamps in September, Jenkins bought a house in Calgary.

However, nobody told the Los Angeles-area raised player what he would be in store for during a Calgary winter.

"I didn't adjust," Jenkins said. "I stayed in the house for the most part.

"I did go out and it was so cold ... I've never been so cold in my life. I went to Banff once. I don't ski. It was nice up there and I had a good time.

"Other than that, I just stayed in the house and played video games. It's not for me."

The sun was shining at the start of Stamps training camp this week and so was the running back/kick returner/receiver. Jenkins is lining up as an option back similar to Saskatchewan's Corey Holmes.

Defences won't know if Jenkins or backfield mate Joffrey Reynolds will get the ball, or if Jenkins will take off on a receiving route. The system makes Jenkins a valuable commodity, said head coach Tom Higgins.

"He's multi-dimensional," Higgins said. "With Ronney and Joffrey in the backfield, it will create problems for defences. You try to utilize the talents you have and the capabilities of your team. It's tough to defend against both of those two."

Jenkins, who celebrated his 28th birthday on the weekend, came to the Stamps from the New Orleans Saints. In nearly five years in the NFL, he was used primarily as a kick returner with New Orleans, San Diego and Oakland.

But in college at Northern Arizona, Jenkins tied for the team lead in receptions in his final season. After going through three NFL organizations, getting that role back has helped convince him to put down roots. He's also happy he's out of the strenuous football factories down south.

"Honestly, I'm committed to the CFL. I'm through with the NFL," Jenkins said. "The thoughts about going back to the NFL ... I just want to keep playing in the CFL. I like what they do up here. I like the way the CFL is run. The whole thing makes me comfortable."

As one of a few Americans to make a home in Calgary in the off-season, Jenkins was called upon for player appearances during the winter. He also attended nearly every news conference as the franchise changed ownership and brought in new coaches and players. The whole package appealed to him.

"It wasn't just the football situation, I like it here a lot," Jenkins said. "I'm all about change. This was something new.

"I won't be up here forever but I should be here for three or four years. I'll see what happens and I just might stay."

Despite the temperature.


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