Stamps ink trio of draft picks

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:20 AM ET

CALGARY - The pressure seemed to hit Junior Turner the moment he arrived in Calgary.

He just attributes it to the high altitude, not the upcoming challenge of being a rookie CFLer.

Coming from Lennoxville, Que., Turner knew there would be adjustment in the Alberta foothills, so the second-round Calgary Stampeders draft pick arrived a week ago.

I felt it right on the plane, the difference, said the defensive lineman, one of three draft picks signed by the Stamps Friday. It was a fresh feeling when I got off the plane, so I enjoy it.

Ive been doing conditioning to get acclimitized to the altitude and different climate. I think my lungs have broken, through. I believe Ive adapted.

While Turner is just getting used to Calgary, fellow draft pick Anthony Parker is only making the adjustment from being a University of Calgary Dino to now officially a Stampeder.

Taken third overall after the Stamps traded with the B.C. Lions to move up, Parker was excited to put pen to paper.

He spent a couple hours Friday going through the playbook and is anxious to get rookie camp underway June 1.

Its my first pro contract, so it was cool to get it done, Parker said. Now, its a matter of moving forward.

Im physically more ready than I had been for any CIS season. Going into the CFL season, this is the best physical condition Ive been in, and I think its going to really show on the field.

The Stamps also signed quarterback Brad Sinopoli, the Ottawa product who will have a huge spotlight on him during training camp.

There are three Canadian pivots on CFL rosters heading into camp Sinopoli, Danny Brannagan in Toronto and Marc Mueller in Edmonton but Sinopoli probably has the best shot of making an opening-day roster.

The No.-3 pivot spot is wide open, despite the Stamps trading for receiver Reggie McNeal Thursday and vowing to give him a look as a quarterback as well.

Now that the business is done, the rookies have to be ready for the gruelling CFL camp, which will feature 10 two-a-day practices, a intrasquad game and two pre-season tilts over the span of three weeks.

Theres no doubt it will be a grind, said Parker, who has a great chance at making the team as a receiver.

It gets a bit tougher with rookie camp before the vets show up. Im sure they will happy to see us nice and tired when they get in.

All in all, Im embracing the process. Its a grind, but its part of the gig. Having done the contract now, at least Im getting paid to grind it out.

Parker plans on staying at home during camp, so he wont have the added hassle of dorm living, while Turner is lucky to have some family to bunk with in Calgary.

Turners uncle is putting him up for now and this is the 23-year-olds first trip to Cowtown.

Im going to try and stay with him as long as possible, Turner said. Until he gives me the boot.


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