He's looking out for No. 1

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

As a rookie CFLer, Jabari Arthur is experiencing a lot of things for the first time.

Coming to Calgary to join the Stampeders three weeks ago marked the 6-foot-4 receiver's first time in Canada outside of Quebec or Ontario.

He made his first visit to Saskatchewan for a win over the Roughriders. His first home game was also a win over the Riders.

But there is one first he is still searching for, and hopes to get it out of the way today in his first meeting with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium (4:30 p.m., TSN).

"I'm definitely looking to get that first catch out of the way," said the 26-year- old, who wears No. 87 for the Stamps. "I'm just trying to get a whole bunch of firsts out of the way.

"Hopefully, I get that first touchdown sometime this season."

The Montreal native is no stranger to touching the ball, having recorded 86 receptions in his senior year at Akron.

Although he is getting more reps on offence every game, quarterback Henry Burris has yet to toss the ball to one of his largest targets.

But Arthur isn't going to complain. After getting cut by the Kansas City Chiefs following the NFL training camp, he is just happy to continue his career.

After spending a couple weeks getting acclimatized to Calgary, he is thanking his birth certificate that allows him to break the import ratio.

"I've been fortunate," Arthur said. "I've hooked up with what I believe is the best receiving corps in the CFL. There are a ton of veterans out there.

"The quarterbacks have really helped me out, and the coaches have showed confidence in me to put me out there. Even though it's been quick, it has gone really well."

Despite growing up in Montreal, Arthur was a Stamps fan when he was younger. Part of the reason was the Alouettes were on a hiatus from the CFL from 1986 to 1996, so Arthur picked up on the Stamps by watching the likes of Doug Flutie, Allen Pitts and Dave Sapunjis.

So when the Stamps took him with a first-round pick (sixth overall) a year ago, he was delighted, even though he knew he wouldn't join them right away.

"I was honoured. It's amazing to know a team thinks so highly of you that they will take you in the first round," he said. "I loved the colours of the Stamps. Red is my favourite colour."

The Stamps weren't even thinking Arthur would arrive in Calgary this season. He made it right to the end of Chiefs camp, and he has the size and speed NFL teams are looking for in a receiver.

Even after he was cut, Arthur took a couple of weeks to see if a practice-roster spot would open up for him. It didn't, and in hindsight, he is glad.

"That was the first time I was ever released by any team in football," Arthur said. "At first, I didn't know what I was going to do. I was a little bit upset. I talked to my agent and some other guys who went this road, and they told me there were other opportunities out there.

"I knew Calgary was interested, and I had the chance to keep playing football. I'm happy with the way things have worked out."


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