CALGARY - Duane Forde made it so that J’Micheal Deane couldn’t fly under the radar for his rookie season.
The freshman is OK with that.
On TSN’s season preview show, the resident Canadian draft guru picked Deane as a freshman to watch, going as far as to say he will make one of the biggest impacts this season.
Considering it appeared Deane was going to be, at best, a backup offensive lineman for the Calgary Stampeders, the prediction looked like a bold one.
But with Dimitri Tsoumpas starting the season on the injured list with a hamstring pull, Deane steps into the right guard spot, at least for Week 1’s meeting with the Toronto Argonauts.
Maybe that’s all it takes for the Michigan State product to take over a starting spot full-time.
“I don’t want to get a full head,” Deane said Saturday after learning he had made the 46-man roster. “Some people might not take the praise the right way and get full of themselves.
“I don’t want to feel like I don’t have to compete as much because a spot is mine. It’s great having good things said about me, but I have to act on them. I have to prove him right.”
Deane appears the most ready to play among the young Canadian offensive linemen the Stamps have groomed.
As a senior last year at Michigan State, the 25-year-old started all 13 games at right tackle, although he played guard in previous seasons.
The Stamps are using imports at the tackle position to start this season, so it didn’t look like Deane would be on the field much this season, at least until Tsoumpas got hurt.
“It’s a blessing. Not to take anything away from Tsoump,” Deane said.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to show what I could do. It helped me out a lot with my chances. I’m happy I took advantage of that opportunity.
“It would feel great to start. I will work as hard as I can to get there. I’m sure (Dimitri’s) doing that too.
“It would be really cool to get that starting job. My first regular season game of my career and a chance to play.”
While the Stamps offence doesn’t have much turnover this season from the unit that led the CFL a year ago, the line is going through a change.
Left tackle Ben Archibald is gone to B.C. through free-agency, while former right tackle Edwin Harrison, who was moving to the left side, could miss up to a month of the regular season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Gerald Cadogan is slated to start the year at left tackle, while Stanley Bryant will be the right tackle.
In the pre-season finale, Deane played with the first-team offence that put up 27 first-half points.
Still, when the Stamps were making their final cuts Saturday, Deane couldn’t help but be a little curious as to what was happening.
“I woke up in the morning and waited,” Deane said.
“I didn’t know I made the team. I see everyone was getting calls.
“ I didn’t get a call, and then coach (Kris) Sweet came up to me and said it’s a long morning but get ready for Toronto.”