Brock's back

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

It would be slightly unfair to say that Brock Ralph is happy to be back in Edmonton.

His desire was to play in the NFL and he got his shot, but returning to the Eskimos and the CFL beats staying on the New York Jets' practice roster.

The 25-year-old from Raymond was cut by the Jets yesterday and arrived in Edmonton last night, raring to get back on the field with the Esks when they resume practice later this week.

"I'm excited about coming back to a team that's got so much potential and has started out so well. I want to play right now," said Ralph, who had 49 receptions for 634 yards with the Esks last season before signing with the Jets in January.

Ralph's path home to the Esks will be cleared when he officially clears NFL waivers at 4 p.m. today. When that happens, Ralph will slide right into bolstering one of the best receiving corps in the CFL.

"If he clears, I want him back at practice the first day back," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia. "Until he clears, I have to control my excitement.

"He's a big strong kid that can run and catch well, and you're not going to find those kind of guys every day.

"He's gotten up to 190 pounds, but I don't think he's lost any speed. They wanted him bigger down there, but that hasn't stopped his ability to run right by people."

Ralph, who bulked up while preparing for Jets' camp, appeared in one exhibition game with the Jets and made one catch for six yards against the Minnesota Vikings.

He was offered the opportunity to stay in New York and stick around on the practice roster, but was quick to make his way back to the Edmonton with a full-time spot waiting.

"It's been an ongoing decision for me for about the last 10 days - what was best for me developmentally as a football player, the best for me financially, everything," said Ralph.

"I hadn't asked for my release, but I wanted to see if we were on the same page with my situation and the possibilities for me up here.

"I had a good relationship with management and some of the coaches there.

"They were open with me and I felt I was never misled.

"Being back up here I think is the right thing for me. I'm fortunate to have a place to go and ultimately get back out on the field.

"It feels like it's been a while for me, so I'm excited to get a chance to see if the things I learned down there are going to make me the receiver that I plan to come up here and be."

Ralph's reappearance with the Esks will suit his family well.

The whole clan can get together for the Labour Day Classic and see Brock suit up against brother Brett, a rookie with the Stampeders.

"We're playing each other and we both want to win, but it's still special and it's still something that I'm looking forward to," said Ralph.


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