Converted linebacker shows off soft hands

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:36 PM ET

Mike Cornell hadnít scored an offensive TD since high school, but he still acted like heíd been there before plenty.

The converted linebacker found himself wide open and hauled in an eight-yard touchdown during the Calgary Stampedersí 41-17 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders to finish the pre-season.

Not much fanfare, and he didnít even keep the ball.

ďI just silenced everything around me,Ē said the rookie fullback who played defence at the University at Ottawa.

ďI just focused on the ball and caught it. I turned my head around and I was in the endzone. That was that. Itís my first CFL touchdown, so

I will remember that forever. Itís Fatherís Day, and my dad told me to score a touchdown for him. I got lucky and had one.Ē

In two pre-season outings, Cornell hasnít looked out of place.

The 23-year-old is aiming to be the backup to Rob Cote, and heís impressed head coach John Hufnagel with his play.

ďHeís a tough kid,Ē Hufnagel said. ďIíve really enjoyed watching him switch from the linebacker position to fullback.

ďHeís a lot more athletic than I thought when I made that decision. He hasnít disappointed one bit. For a player who hasnít played that much fullback or offensive football, heís doing a great job.Ē

The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder also knocked down a defender with a cut block on a rushing play.

ó Ian Busby


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