In the end zone ...

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

Trevor Gaylor came so close to quitting the game.

"I was fed up with the business side of football. For two seasons I couldn't find a way to even get on the field," explained the lanky Missouri native, remembering the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

"I mean, I was a (4th-round) 2000 (NFL) draft pick. I'm not a slouch and it hurt me to the point I wanted to push it all to the side."

But thankfully for the Eskimos, Gaylor couldn't pull the pin on the sport, deciding to venture north after bouncing around NFL camps.

And the 27-year-old Miami of Ohio product is now delivering an excellent rookie campaign in the CFL.

Third in team receiving this season, Gaylor has really started to blossom in the last three games.

He caught all three balls thrown in his direction on Labour Day, adding to his three grabs against Montreal and his perfect 10-for-10 outing against Toronto in mid-August. In fact, the St. Louis native is second only to Jason Tucker for receiving yards during that stretch.

And nobody has caught more touchdown passes in the last three tilts. "All of us (in the receiving core) can score, all of us are good," continued Gaylor.

"And with Ricky Ray throwing it, you kind of want to get open the fastest and get open the most. I think that challenge has raised my level of play."

If Gaylor had turned his back on football, he would likely be facing a new challenge south of the border: selling real estate.

"Making money fascinates me," he said.

But scoring touchdowns fascinates him even more -- and kept him from leaving the game.

"You hate the long, hard practices and the weight-lifting sessions, but scoring in front of 60,000 fans or 40,000 fans, you can't do that anywhere else," he stated.

Gaylor has never been a stranger in the end zone.

He held the Miami of Ohio record for most touchdowns (20) in a season. The former Atlanta Falcon scored the fourth TD of his Eskimo career on Labour Day in the midst of a good outing that featured a highlight-reel grab down the sidelines.

"He's a guy that can make those difficult catches like he did in Calgary down the sidelines where he was able to leap over a defender and catch a ball," said head coach Danny Maciocia of the six-foot three-inch ball hawk with a gigantic reach. "He's unbelievable. He can go get balls that not too many receivers can go and get."

With Jason Tucker and Derrell Mitchell likely receiving plenty of attention tonight from the Calgary Stampeders defensive backfield, Gaylor could have another rock-solid game.


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