The boy's got game

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Special to The Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

Dahrran Diedrick can use his fingers and toes to count the number of games he has actually played in during the past three years.

The personable 26-year-old Canadian running back estimates he has appeared in uniform in just 11 games - many of those pre-season tilts - since leaving Nebraska for the NFL in 2003.

But now the Toronto-area product is hoping to play 10 games this fall with the Edmonton Eskimos on the road to the Grey Cup in Vancouver.

As expected, the Eskimos signed the former Nebraska star to a two-year deal yesterday.

"I just can't wait to get out there and play again," said Diedrick.

"It has been a while since I've been able to play in a critical situation."

After scampering for a whopping 2,745 yards as a Nebraska Cornhusker, the Jamaica-born back could have come to Edmonton, as the Eskimos drafted him in the third round of the 2002 CFL Canadian college draft.

But Diedrick stayed south of the border, bouncing between three NFL organizations before being released this summer by the Washington Redskins, prompting the move north.

"I'm just thinking I'll come here and regain my confidence and remember how I run the ball well," stated Diedrick.

"I can't wait to get out there and show it to myself as well as everybody else."

Very few people actually saw Diedrick run this summer in Washington, as he hurt a leg in a camp scrimmage against Baltimore.

"The worst thing in camp is to be banged up - and especially when you get banged up early," continued the six-foot, 225-pound non-import, who missed a few key practices.

"During training camp you don't want to miss any practices. Every practice somebody is getting looked at a different way; somebody is making good improvements and that is the time when you are watching."

The Eskimo coaching staff will be watching the newcomer closely in practice next week in advance of their trip to Regina for next Sunday's game.

"We have a lot of time before our next game," continued Diedrick, who is hoping he'll be added to the active roster before the flight leaves on Saturday.

"I'm just going to get into the play book."

Regardless of his status for next week, Diedrick doesn't seem too concerned about the pressure that comes with his arrival to a team struggling to run the ball this season.

"Football is pressure, but my job is just to go out and play the best I can," he explained.

"I just hope I'll be able to make quick friends with these (offensive line) guys so they want to block for me."


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