Stamps’ Rambo fearless

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:16 AM ET

Apparently, Ken-Yon Rambo really isn't afraid of anything.

It was no surprise the Calgary Stampeders' smooth-talking receiver and proud Ohio State alumni was exchanging insults with Penn State product Daryll Clark ahead of Saturday's NCAA football showdown between the host Buckeyes and Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium.

But he wouldn't dare talk trash with former Penn State star and current Stamps coach John Hufnagel, would he?

"I would definitely talk to Huf about the game," Rambo said with a grin. "Matter of fact, I am going to mention it to him. I'm going to ask what does he think about the game and he better tell me, 'We're going to lose.'

"They're coming into The Shoe, in front of 110,000 fans -- a whole bunch of scarlet and grey. I don't think the Brittany Lions are ready for that."

You could ask thousands of former football stars for advice of prolonging your professional career, and not one would recommend cracking jokes about your head's coach alma mater.

Rambo, though, has already proven he's not scared of anything.

Coming off reconstructive knee surgery, the 32-year-old racked up 1,172 receiving yards and scored eight touchdowns in 14 regular-season outings, perhaps surprising everybody but himself with his fearless nature just one year removed from a career-threatening injury.

"Going through the trials and tribulations of my young life, I know what I'm capable of doing," Rambo said. "It was just another bump in the road. You're going to go through many bumps in the road and it was just something I had to go over. I had to put my mind to it. I was determined and I got back on the field."

He's not just back on the field, he's back in a starring role.

Too bad the CFL's 2008 receiving champion won't be officially recognized for it.

The NFL has handed out an annual Comeback Player of the Year award since 1972, honouring an individual that bounces back from a devastating injury or a significant drop-off in on-field performance.

The list of past recipients includes Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Dan Marino and former Stamps signal-caller Doug Flutie.

The CFL, which announced its divisional award nominees Thursday morning, doesn't have a specific trophy to salute its pleasant surprises.

Stamps running back Jon Cornish joked that Rambo received his recognition when the league started its crackdown on horse-collar tackles, but you can count quarterback Henry Burris among those in support of adding an award for the CFL's top comeback story of each season.

"I've said that for a long time -- that they should have something like that," Burris said. "An award that should fit that bill as far as a comeback player and an inspirational story of somebody that is coming back off a loss or a big-time injury and really making it happen. Definitely, Rambo is a guy that fits the mark."

Although Rambo is a fan of the idea, you won't catch him campaigning for the award.

"If it happens, it happens," Rambo shrugged. "I came here to do my job andmy job is to catch balls and make plays for my team."

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

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