Ellis takes the torch

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Rookie Godfrey Ellis is now in sole possession of the starting centre's job and the man walking away thinks the pigskin is in good hands.

Jamie Crysdale, who retired Tuesday after 13 CFL seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, believes the 23-year-old Ellis will provide long-term reliability at the position, a trait that became Crysdale's trademark.

"To see him go out there an perform well gives me great joy," said Crysdale, 36.

"Retiring would have been harder if people we were saying, 'You just can't quit because we've got nobody who can play the position.'

"But with Godfrey, he's doing a great job, has great hands and great feet and that's the one thing I've always told him will make him a good football player.

"I've always told him that I'm glad I've been able to watch him progress and he's doing a good job."

Ellis temporarily inherited the starting job earlier this season as Crysdale's 210-game streak was snapped when arthroscopic surgery on his left knee was required.

Although Crysdale returned to the lineup, a second surgery last month ended his playing career.

Now Ellis, a native of the Bahamas who had no formal football training prior to his college days at Acadia, has been thrust into the role full-time.

The passing of the torch couldn't have come at a more critical time with the Edmonton Eskimos coming to town Sunday and second place in the CFL West on the line.

"My goals are the same right now," said Ellis, drafted in the second round of the 2005 Canadian college draft.

"I'm just looking forward to the next game against Edmonton and the playoffs and then it will start from scratch in training camp next year.

"I don't know if they'll be bringing somebody new into camp to compete for the job or if they'll go with me. Right now I'll just accept in stride the responsibility they've given me."


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