Esks get Intense with pick

Edmonton Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia he has never signed a player out of the Intense Football...

Edmonton Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia he has never signed a player out of the Intense Football League - until now. (Edmonton Sun File Photo)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Phillip Brock Jr. is about to step into uncharted waters.

In Danny Maciocia's tenure with the Edmonton Eskimos, he has never signed a player out of the Intense Football League - until now.

Looking for an import running back to replace Troy Davis, the Eskimos have hooked Brock out of the IFL's Centex Barracudas.

"If he can play football, it doesn't matter where you play," said Maciocia, the Esks bench boss.

BROCK IMPRESSES

And the Green and Gold are certainly impressed after watching Brock at a tryout camp in Dallas.

"He just lit it up that one day," said Maciocia.

"A couple of a years ago he was on the radar screen (in) the NFL.

"We talked to a couple of player personnel guys and they said that at some point in time they had him up on their board as someone of interest and he just fell through - but that he is a player, no question about it."

A step below the Arena League, the IFL isn't exactly stocked with top talent - but Brock was productive.

In just eight games as a receiver, the 25-year-old (six foot, 212 pounds) had 11 touchdowns and 34 receptions last year.

STRANGE ROAD TO ESKS

In one of the strangest routes ever to a CFL training camp, Brock - a product of Nicholls State - was displaced from his home in New Orleans by hurricane Katrina before joining a semi-pro team in Tucson, Arizona, as a running back.

From there he latched on in the IFL before signing with the CFL.

"The Lord works in mysterious ways," said Brock, who doesn't believe he would have played in Arizona if he hadn't been punted out of New Orleans.

FINISH LINES: The Esks have also signed University of Miami import Tony Tella to compete at right guard against Raleigh Roundtree at training camp.

"And we are probably going to try to bring in one or two more imports," said Maciocia.


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