Great expectations

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

After signing his first pro contract yesterday, Dimitri Tsoumpas started to contemplate the number he would wear in Red and White.

No. 67 is his first choice. With it comes some big shoes to fill.

Then again, the guard from Weber State is ready to exceed some high expectations after the Calgary Stampeders made him their first pick (second overall) in the CFL draft Wednesday.

"Obviously, I do," Tsoumpas said when asked if his own expectations are sky high. "The coaching staff took me in that position and that shows they have faith in me to get the job done. It instills a little more confidence in me that the coaching staff believes in me to perform to that level."

So he just may take Jamie Crysdale's No. 67 -- provided the team doesn't have plans to retire those digits for the team's ironman.

Both Tsoumpas and third overall pick Jesse Newman expressed interest in the same number, but Tsoumpas was the first to visit the McMahon Stadium offices and sign a contract, so he has first choice.

If that isn't daunting enough, the Stamps are looking for someone to step up and play left guard this season and replace longtime veteran Jay McNeil.

Tsoumpas joins Derek Armstrong, newly signed Tim O'Neill and veteran Godfrey Ellis as candidates to play left guard, but the Edmonton native isn't worried about making anyone forget about past players. After leaving the Stamps offices, the 6-ft.-4, 315-lb. lineman hopped a flight to Utah to pick up his degree in human performance today.


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