CALGARY - When it comes to mid-season practice roster additions in the CFL, Google is usually your best bet for background information.
An online search will likely reveal that the new guy put up eye-popping numbers in the collegiate ranks.
He might have been a star in one of the on-again, off-again arena leagues.
He could have had one or two NFL auditions before heading north.
If you’re a follower of three-down football, though, the latest addition to the Calgary Stampeders’ practice roster — receiver Marquay McDaniel — is already a known quantity.
The 27-year-old speedster was oh-so-close to registering 1,000 yards for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last season, falling just six yards shy of the milestone mark.
McDaniel fell out of favour with the Ticats this summer, was released last week and quickly found a new football home at McMahon Stadium.
“You’ve gotta prove yourself again every year,” McDaniel said. “This is a new organization. Obviously, almost 1,000 yards didn’t mean nothing in Hamilton if I’m here, right?
“I’m on this team now, so my job is to work hard and try to contribute and maybe make the defensive guys better since I’m on the practice squad now. But almost 1,000 yards last year doesn’t mean anything now. It’s a new year.”
And a new city.
McDaniel was officially added to the Stamps’ practice roster Monday morning, less than five hours prior to the kickoff of what turned out to be an ugly 35-7 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the Labour Day Classic.
“It’s the CFL, and teams are looking to get better every day,” McDaniel said. “I guess they saw something they liked.”
There’s a lot to like about the former Hampton University Pirates standout.
As a rookie in 2009, the fleet-footed returner led the CFL with 2,535 all-purpose yards, including 688 yards and three touchdowns on 57 receptions.
His offensive numbers were even better last season, when he hauled in 76 passes for 994 receiving yards and seven majors.
Although McDaniel suited up for just one game with the Ticats in the first half of this season, registering four catches for 60 yards, the Stamps figure there’s plenty of good football left in his 5-foot-10, 205-lb. frame.
“I’m very pleased that he decided to come on. It definitely gives us added depth at the position, especially a young man that has that type of experience in the Canadian Football League,” said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel. “He’s a very explosive receiver, not only as a receiver but as a runner at the receiver position. He can do some returning, so he’s a well-rounded athlete.”
The Stamps have had a well-rounded offence for the past few seasons, even if it didn’t show on Labour Day.
McDaniel is currently buried on the Stamps’ depth chart, but he seemed genuinely excited to join a dangerous group that’s headlined by quarterback Henry Burris and star receivers Romby Bryant, Nik Lewis and Ken-Yon Rambo.
“I’ve seen ’em play, and they do like to push the ball downfield. They’ve got a great quarterback, and that’s where it starts,” McDaniel said. “So yeah, this is definitely a good offence from what I’ve seen. Now, being here and getting used to it and learning the plays and seeing exactly what they do, I’m looking forward to that.
“There’s always room for another weapon.”
On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson