Brandon Guillory has been used to facing adversity all his life.
He never received a football scholarship out of high school and had to walk his way onto the defensive line of Louisiana-Monroe College, where he played four seasons.
But nothing prepared him for the adversity he had to face last year when he suffered a career-threatning spinal-cord injury during the pre-season against the Calgary Stampeders.
Guillory was hurt in a helmet-to-chin hit from Stampeders offensive lineman Bobby Singh.
He fell to the ground and had to be carried off the field on a spine board.
While many doctors and Eskimos staff thought his football career could be over, Guillory has defied the odds and is expected to be ready for training camp.
"They (doctors) gave me the OK, but they want me to be in tip-top shape about this. They want do one more checkup, and I agree with that."
Yesterday, he took part in a mini team workout at the Commonwealth Stadium gymn and was spotted doing handstands and joking around with some of his teammates.
"Honestly, I have a good relationship with God and I knew that is what it was going to take," said Guillory.
The 24-year-old from New Orleans has had a strong bond with his father, who helped guide him through his trying time.
Guillory could have easily packed his bags and went home to recover, but he stayed in Edmonton.
"I have been facing adversity all my life," said Guillory.
"A lot of guys could have went home to collect their cheque, but the organization stuck by me and supported me and didn't ignore me. They were still coaching me as if I was playing the year. I really see this team as a family ... and the guys were struggling and needed my support."
"This was one of the biggest tests I have ever gone through, but it looks as though I have accomplished this one, too."