Talley's dream come true

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:59 PM ET

Athletes are all about visualization, but Landan Talley has others doing it for him.

Before Talley was given a two-game audition to become the Calgary Stampeders main kick returner, his fiancees grandmother had a dream about him.

In it, he was playing an important role in a big game.

When Talley arrived at McMahon Stadium for preparation for a Week 18 matchup with Hamilton, the spot was his to lose.

It was shocking for me, Talley said. My fiancee (Latreia) believed it. As soon as I called my fiancee up, she said, I told you so.

I need to listen to her more, I guess. She had that feeling. Im going to call her to find out what (her grandmother) sees this weekend.

Heading into Sundays CFL West final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Talley will keep his role as the main kick returner and be an extra option at receiver.

The audition went well, but it wasnt until late in the season finale win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers that Talley sealed it.

With the teams tied 32-32 in the final minutes, Talley grabbed a kickoff return, bounced outside and took it into scoring range before being hauled down at the opposition 33-yard line.

That 47-yard return to let us kick the winning field-goal in Winnipeg basically did it, said special teams coach Mark Kilam. It was a big play for us.

He did the things we asked him and want to keep that continuity going.

This season, the Stamps struggled in the return game with Deon Murphy handling the workload.

Murphy had the upperhand on the job thanks to a month he spent with the team in 2009. Talley, a 23-year-old rookie out of Lambuth University, needed some time to get accustomed to the CFL game.

The two-game stretch to finish season was a job interview, and so far, Talley has aced it.

It still feels like this is an interview for me, Talley said. Each and every day I come out, I have to do what they need me to do. I have to perform to the highest abilities that Im capable of doing. Every time Im on the field, its another interview.

I could make one mistake, and they decide to switch to somebody else. As long as you take it one step at a time and do what they ask me to do, there should be no problem with it.

Talley didnt complain when Murphy was the main man, and the two worked together both on and off the field.

I was just excited to be here, Talley said. Finally, Im a professional athlete, I thought. When they told me I would actually be returning kicks, I was in shock at first.

No matter what happens in the next two weeks, Talley is headed for an adventurous off-season. He and Latreia are scheduled to be married May 7 in Florida.

You might as well call us high-school sweethearts, said Talley, whos been with her for five years. In high school, she was my best friend. When I went to college, we got together. From there on, its been a lovely relationship.

When he gets accepted into the family, her grandmother will be officially his, too.

That lady is something else, Talley said. Im so happy to have someone like her around.

She gives me good words of advice. Me losing both of my grandparents, I know I have somebody on her side I can go to if I need something.

Anything she can dream about.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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