Stamps raid 'Riders

DAN TOTH, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

A fresh face in Calgary Stampeders training camp this spring will be a mug familiar to quarterback Henry Burris.

Burris will be reunited with former Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Elijah Thurmon, one of his favourite targets from the 2004 CFL campaign when both wore Green and White. The Stamps yesterday signed the 27-year-old Thurmon, who spent his only two CFL seasons in Regina.

"Henry helped a lot," Thurmon said about his decision to sign with the Stampeders. "I also had some conversations with the coaches about what they're trying to do in Calgary.

"We had a pretty good relationship, worked together in the off-season before and had a good relationship as far as football goes."

That partnership, notes Stampeders GM Jim Barker, played a key role in the decision to land Thurmon. "He's a dependable guy who's got a history with Henry and that's very important," said Barker.

The 6-ft. 3-in., 205-lb. Thurmon led the Roughriders last year by reeling in 88 passes for 1,048 yards while he grabbed 50 balls for 620 yards the previous year as Burris' teammate. Thurmon's addition will deepen the Stampeders' talent pool, already boasting 2005 additions Jeremaine Copeland, Ken-Yon Rambo and Brett Ralph, along with 2004 rookie of the year Nik Lewis.

"I like his experience," Barker said.

"Last year Ken-Yon was as good a new guy you could bring in but there's such a learning curve and we're at the point now where we don't want to go through that learning curve with new receivers. We felt that with Elijah, he: A) knows our quarterback and B) understands this league. He really augments the guys we have."

While the Stampeders have lost import receiver MarTay Jenkins, 31, to retirement, the signing earlier this off-season of free agent Darnell McDonald will create strong competition in camp.

The Stampeders also announced the signing of import linebacker Walter Spencer, 27, who spent last season with Saskatchewan.


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