CALGARY - The Calgary Stampeders will have no shortage of receivers to choose from.
Just before Friday's final session of rookie main camp at McMahon Stadium, the Red & White announced the signing of former Edmonton Eskimos speedster Marko Mitchell, who will join Calgary's already-crowded stockpile of offensive targets.
All four starting receivers from last season — touchdown king Romby Bryant, star slotbacks Nik Lewis and Ken-Yon Rambo and non-import
Arjei Franklin — are back for another summer with the Stamps, but Mitchell wasn't scared off by the surplus of proven pass-catchers.
In fact, it's the reason he's here.
“Not just the receiving core, but the whole entire offence,” Mitchell said. “Just how balanced the offence was, how good of a running back they have, a good quarterback, a good offensive line. And on top of that, good receivers. I just wanted to be part of that.”
“It's all about the competition,” he added. “You come in and you try to give something that the other receivers or somebody else can't give this team to get to the next level, which is the Grey Cup.”
Mitchell, who appeared in two games with the Eskimos last season after spending one campaign with the NFL's Washington Redskins, isn't the only intriguing talent the Stamps have signed to join their pass-catching corps.
They traded up in last month's draft to grab former Calgary Dinos star Anthony Parker at third overall, adding to a contingent of Canadian receivers that also includes Jabari Arthur and sophomore Johnny Forzani.
The Red & White also signed former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Indianapolis Colt Dudley Guice and former Montreal Alouettes return ace Larry Taylor, who will challenge Deon Murphy and Landan Talley for special-teams duties, plus added Reggie McNeal in a swap with the Toronto Argonauts.
Newcomers Jake Allen, Tyrre Burks and Tyrone Collins attended rookie camp and will now get a chance to showcase their skills against the CFL mainstays.
It's no surprise that the Stamps remembered Mitchell, who has also auditioned for the NFL's Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
Making his Eskimos debut in last year's Labour Day Replay against the crew from Calgary, the 6-foot-4, 218 lb. receiver reeled in a 69-yard touchdown catch.
Apparently, the 26-year-old was impressed with his opposition, too.
“That was the first team I played against, and I saw how structured they are and I knew they were one of the best teams in the CFL, so when they called and asked me about coming up, I was very excited,” Mitchell said. “The first impression stayed with me and it's still with me. I'm excited about being here.”