The wait is over

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Brandon Guillory had already caught one break.

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive end is still walking after suffering a spinal cord contusion last spring in a pre-season game in Calgary.

But now the 25-year-old import has caught a second break by replacing injured Fred Perry.

After missing all 18 regular-season games last year because doctors wouldn't allow him to play from the spine injury and the first four games this year as a healthy scratch, Guillory will make his 2008 regular-season debut tonight against the host Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

For a career that veered in a different direction from the moment his name was somehow taken off the list of invitees to the national NFL scouting combine in his American draft year, Guillory can get it back on track starting tonight.

"I am real excited," said Guillory.

It has been a long time since he could say that.

Not expected to start this evening - Tyler Clutts and Montez Murphy will begin the game at defensive ends - Guillory will be part of a three-man rotation with the starters to ensure he plays.

After recording three of Edmonton's five sacks in the preseason, it appeared Guillory deserved a chance to start the year ahead of Murphy - a raw CFL rookie.

Head coach Danny Maciocia didn't agree.

It was an interesting call considering one American talent evaluator - Ken Becks, who operates gridironevaluations.com - currently lists Guillory as an "NFL ready and waiting" player on his website.

Comparing him to NFL Pro-bowl defensive end/outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Becks raves about Guillory.

In explaining why Guillory is NFL-ready, Becks states: "Combine his measurables (size, speed, and agility), his unusual athletic ability which allows him the versatility to play either the DE/OLB positions as a hybrid player along with his unique ability to get to the QB from either position. (That) is in high demand at the NFL level."

It's an interesting backdrop for tonight's game.

In the only three regular-season games on Guillory's CFL resume - which came at the end of 2006 - he had three sacks.

If he picks up where he left off and continues on a reasonably similar pace for the rest of the year, the Eskimos will be thrilled and maybe Becks will be proven correct.


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