Stamps net new receiver

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

Teyo Johnson was born in White Rock, B.C., but the new Calgary Stampeders receiver's dreams growing up had nothing to do with the Grey Cup.

The Super Bowl wasn't in his sights, either.

Johnson's high hopes had to do with hoops.

"The NBA was always where I saw myself until college, then football kinda took off," said the former NFLer, who was signed by the Stamps yesterday along with import defensive ends Jonal Saint-Dic and Charleston Hughes.

In his final year of high school, the 6-ft.-6, 250-lb. Johnson was one of the most highly touted two-sport athletes in the U.S.

He moved south of the border to Lynnwood, Wash., as a youngster, and was a star for both the football and basketball teams at Stanford University.

He played on Canada's national junior basketball team and figured he had a shot at the NBA -- or at least overseas -- as a small forward.

The turning point that made his decision for what sport to choose had nothing to do with basketball courts or football fields.

"My dad was mis-diagnosed with cancer, so I left school early," explained the Oakland Raiders' second-round draft pick in 2003.

"I was projected as a first- or second-round pick as a sophomore, so I left school early and thought I'd take my chances. If I have stayed another year, you never know how high I would have went.

"The good thing is my dad is healthy."

The real problem for his father, Oby, was appendicitis.

"He was living with it for, like, three years, with a burst appendix," Johnson said. "It's a medical miracle, actually. It should have killed him."

Now the 26-year-old can concentrate on solidifying his football life.

After a couple of seasons with the Raiders, Johnson bounced through four other NFL organizations. He played six games for Arizona in 2005 and attended camps for Miami, Denver and Buffalo.

Calgary put him on its negotiation list a year ago and called when the Bills waived Johnson earlier this month.

Johnson, whose older brother Riall plays for the Toronto Argonauts, jumped at the chance.

"I figured I needed to go somewhere and play," he said. "Going through camp and waiting to get cut, I'd done that for three years. I wanted to go where I had the best chance to get on the field, make plays and show what I can do."

Now, the question is where the Stamps will give him a look.

Johnson spent his time in the NFL at tight end. In college, he was a wide receiver.

Head coach John Hufnagel is taking a wait-and-see approach.

"My plans? See if he can play football," Hufnagel said.

"It's the first time I've seen him."

Which is fine. Johnson just wants to put his stalled football career in gear.

"It's up to coach Huf. I'll just run what's on the playbook and make plays. My job is to make plays and be consistent. It's simple," he said.

"No expectations, just gonna be passionate. Just be passionate about the game, be a good player and a good teammate. Everything else will take care of itself."


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