Kelly living his dream with Stamps

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:58 PM ET

The last time Ron Kelly suited up for a game, he was named the MVP of a championship squad.

No one will be too impressed at Calgary Stampeders training camp.

Kelly played last season with the Sault Steelers of the Canadian Major Football League, a senior loop of former university players and other guys hanging onto the pro dream.

But now the 26-year-old receiver is living his dream.

With a need for Canadian receivers — especially one with his size (6-foot, 220-lb.) — the Stampeders invited him to camp.

Kelly had his eyes opened during rookie camp, which wrapped up Friday, and he realizes this is an uphill climb.

“This is a big change. The speed is the main thing,” said the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., product. “The guys are a lot faster and the playbook is a bit thicker than it was in university.

“There are a lot of things to adapt to, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m trying to work hard and get better. I have no expectations, other than getting better every day.

“When I first walked into the changeroom, seeing the facilities, it’s way different than university.

“This has been my dream for many years now. Just being out here, I feel like I’m living it. I may not be on the team yet, but I hope I can be.”

Kelly became a starter at St. Mary’s in 2005 before transferring to the University of Ottawa and sitting out a season. He wasn’t drafted, and when he returned for his senior season, a sprained ankle kept him out for a few games before a separated shoulder ended his campaign.

“This wasn’t the path most university athletes want to take,” Kelly said. “I was hoping to do big things (at university) but I never put the stats on the sheet that I was looking for.

“You want to attend the same school for four years, get drafted and go to camp. If it doesn’t work out, then you back for your fifth year and try the pros again.

“The path I took is a little different than most, but I’m excited to be here. I will work my butt off while I’m here.”


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