Doubling up with Ziehl!

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

With the rate that Tony Tompkins is racking up player of the week awards, you might think the last thing the Edmonton Eskimos needed to stock up on was a kick returner.

But that's what the Esks did yesterday, adding non-import Ziehl Kavanaght, a former Michigan State University Spartans receiver who doubles up as a punt return ace.

Kavanaght studied the Green and Gold's practice from sidelines yesterday but is eager to suit up for the first time since playing for the Spartans in the Alamo Bowl against Nebraska last December.

"The first thing I have to do is get back in game shape," said the native of Brossard, Que.

"I think it'll take a couple of practices to see how I feel and get a feel for how things are done in the CFL.

"All these guys went through hard two-a-days and all the stuff that I didn't do.

"I'm just trying to get back and then everything will settle in."

Signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders last May before being released, Kavanaght played 43 games over four seasons for MSU, notching one touchdown through the air and another on a punt return.

In total, he had 80 punts for 635 yards and caught 41 balls for another 535 yards.

The five-foot-11, 180-pounder was a key figure in the offence during his senior season, picking up good habits from current Detroit Lion Charles Rogers and becoming a favourite target for quarterback Jeff Smoker.

"Charles was always consistent - that's the thing that I've learned the most," said Kavanaght.

"He wouldn't drop one ball and he'd always try to make play after play after play.

"If you want to be on the field, that's what you have to do.

"You have to make plays, not just once but all the time. That's how I got more playing time and became a starter."

To make room on the roster for Kavanaght, the Esks released running back Reggie White.


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