That's the ticket!

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

The elation Brett Ralph felt from making the Calgary Stampeders roster was tempered slightly for two reasons.

The Canadian receiver can't be too satisfied because he still hasn't caught a pass in the CFL regular season.

Plus, all his family and friends from Raymond want tickets to the home opener against the Toronto Argonauts July 1.

Almost everybody from the area is friendly with the Ralph family. The waiting list is a long one.

"This is what I came to camp striving for and when you get the result, there's something to be excited about," said the soft-spoken rookie. "You have to be focused on what you're called up to do, which is run some routes and catch balls.

"There's so many family members around the Calgary area and there will be quite a few asking for tickets. I'll have to see how many I can get."

Ralph should have been considered a longshot to become a pro for more reasons than just his size.

At 5 ft. 9 in., he's several inches shorter than his brother, Brock, who spent the last two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos and is now with the New York Jets.

Although Brett had short stints at the University of Wyoming and Boise State, the last time he played receiver under Canadian rules was in Grade 10.

He spent the rest of high school and a red-shirt 2004 at the University of Alberta as a quarterback.

The 23-year-old came to Stamps training camp trying to get adjusted to the league rules as well as the size and speed of the competition.

"I've never run towards the line," Ralph said. "I'm familiar with the rules but I feel a little like an American receiver adjusting to the differences."

With no game tape from the past year, Ralph had to rely on the CFL combine in Ottawa to turn heads. He took it as a good sign when he boarded the plane in Calgary and Stamps head coach Tom Higgins was on the same flight.

The receiver didn't put up great numbers at the combine but Higgins selected him in the CFL draft with his final selection, in the sixth round.

Higgins said the family name had a little to do with it.

"The family is talented," said Higgins, who coached Brock in Edmonton. "I knew that as soon as he became eligible in the Canadian college draft we would take him. He's legit."

Ralph has three years of university eligibility remaining but the door to the CFL is open and he said he plans on pushing through.

"The opportunity came at the draft and once I found out about that, I immediately thought of opening day under the lights," Ralph said. "It's one of the goals you set. You have to be ready when the time comes."


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