Converted linebacker shows off soft hands

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:36 PM ET

Mike Cornell hadn’t scored an offensive TD since high school, but he still acted like he’d been there before plenty.

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

Not much fanfare, and he didn’t even keep the ball.

“I just silenced everything around me,” said the rookie fullback who played defence at the University at Ottawa.

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

I will remember that forever. It’s Father’s Day, and my dad told me to score a touchdown for him. I got lucky and had one.”

In two pre-season outings, Cornell hasn’t looked out of place.

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

“He’s a tough kid,” Hufnagel said. “I’ve really enjoyed watching him switch from the linebacker position to fullback.

“He’s a lot more athletic than I thought when I made that decision. He hasn’t disappointed one bit. For a player who hasn’t played that much fullback or offensive football, he’s doing a great job.”

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

— Ian Busby


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