Twin peaks at perfect time in rookie CFL season

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

Ronnie and Donnie Amadi have tried out all the tricks only a set of identical twins could pull off.

Played phone pranks on their friends. Switched positions at football practice.

Even swapped classes once in high school.

"I happened to have a quiz, so my brother took my quiz for me and he gave me a D," Ronnie recalled. "So I told him, 'Hey man, we can't switch classes no more.' "

Ronnie, a rookie halfback with the Calgary Stampeders, has been getting high marks for his performance so far in his first Canadian Football League campaign.

The 27-year-old has emerged as a steady presence in the Stampeders' secondary.

And while Donnie hasn't yet figured out a way to tune into the action from his home in Houston, Tex., he never waits long for an update from north of the border.

"I look at the stats and I depend on him to tell me everything," Donnie said.

"He tells me everything -- if he did good or if he did bad, if he got a pick, if he got scored on for a touchdown, if he got a tackle or a sack, everything. Details, details, details."

Donnie, who doubles as his brother's best friend and biggest fan, isn't accustomed to being so far from the field.

The fleet-footed twins both played football at Alief Hastings High School in Houston and were recruited as a package to suit up at the University of Kansas, where they were teammates of Stamps running back Jon Cornish and, for the record, never switched classes.

The Amadi brothers wore the same jersey in 2007 with the AFL2's Green Bay Blizzard, then split up the following campaign when Ronnie scored a job with the Arena League's New York Dragons.

He was planning on returning to the Big Apple, but landed on the gridiron unemployment line when the indoor loop postponed operations for its upcoming season.

Two months ago, Ronnie was still waiting for his phone to ring. The Stamps called two days after training camp opened at McMahon Stadium and the cover-man made the most of his late invite, earning a starting halfback gig.

"I'm pretty proud of what he has done, but I know what Ronnie is capable of, so it wasn't a big shock to me," Donnie said.

"But I am shocked that he's starting right now, which is good. He's proving himself. He's proving himself as an elite athlete, so I'm proud of him."

Donnie is planning to make a trip to Calgary before the snow flies and hasn't ruled out booking a second flight to Canada next spring to audition for a CFL job of his own.

"He's fast. He can cover. The same things I can do, he can do," Ronnie said.

A comment like that should pique the interest of some CFL scouts. Heading into last night's contest against the B.C. Lions, Ronnie had racked up 10 tackles, two knockdowns and one quarterback sack in three outings. He'd also dropped a couple of would-be interceptions.

"He was upset about dropping those," Donnie said.

"He's pleased with how he's playing, but he knows there's room for improvement."

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos