Proctor is strong Willed

WES GILBERTSON

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

The understudy aced his first on-field test in Red & White.

Turns out he's a pretty smooth scrambler off the turf, too.

Asked which candidate would garner his vote for the CFL's most outstanding player nod -- Anthony Calvillo, his mentor last season in Montreal, or Henry Burris, the guy a couple notches above him on the Calgary Stampeders' depth chart -- Will Proctor didn't flinch.

"I'm a Stampeder now, so I've gotta go with Hank," said Proctor, the third-string signal-caller whose club returns to the field today to continue preparations for next Saturday's West Division final.

"Hank's had an incredible season. He deserves it."

Slick.

Proctor, who's on his second CFL stop in as many campaigns after being cut by the Alouettes after last season, counts Calvillo as a friend and heaped praise on the resurgent pivot, but figures Burris is the best bet for the CFL's top honour.

"Henry's the kind of player I want to be -- the guy who can still be great mechanically in the pocket and technically in his throwing, but also has the ability to make some plays with his feet," Proctor said. "I really feel like that's a really great guy to learn from and try to mimic."

Even Burris -- fresh off a career-high 5,093 passing yards, 39 touchdown strikes and his first West Division most outstanding player award -- was probably impressed by Proctor's Stampeders debut.

The former Clemson Tiger spelled backup Barrick Nealy in the second half of Saturday's 41-30 victory over the visiting B.C. Lions and wasted no time introducing himself to Stamps fans, hitting Ken-Yon Rambo for a 49-yard gain. The catch cemented Rambo's first CFL receiving title, although he was hauled down on the one-yard line, denying Proctor his first pro touchdown pass.

"I was kidding Rambo after that play, where he made it all the way down to the one. I said 'Man, what happened? I thought you were fast,' " Proctor said. "But it was a great play by him. A lot of other guys would've been tackled right after they caught it, but he was able to make a play and get the extra yards."

Nealy capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, and Proctor finished the night 1-of-1 for 49 yards and 14 more on two rushing attempts. In a post-game interview, Burris cracked a wide smile while talking about the pivot he refers to as 'the Proctologist'.

Pretty good start for a kid who dreamed of being the next big thing at receiver. It wasn't until his older brother, Ricky, suggested his rocket arm was wasted at wideout that Will gave quarterbacking a try.

While Proctor credits his brother with pointing him in the right direction, he still hasn't let him off the hook for a pass he dropped a decade ago.

"When I was a freshman in high school, he was a senior on the team, and we always joke about a play where he ran a deep post route and he stopped running because he didn't think I could throw it that far, and I overthrew him," Proctor said. "We always talk about that even now. If I overthrow somebody, I'll be like 'Well, at least he was running.' It's kind of a running joke in our family."


Videos

Photos