Maddox delivering

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:54 AM ET

EDMONTON - Even when he was delivering furniture to Brett Favre’s house during a three-year hiatus from football, Anthony Maddox always knew he would play professionally.

The six-foot-two, 295-pound defensive lineman was put through the paces at Edmonton Eskimos rookie camp this week as he prepares to enter his rookie CFL season.

“I’m picking up plays in this mini-camp, it’s been good,” said Maddox, who appreciates the opportunity to work with coaches prior to main camp.

“Definitely, because it’s a different style of football. I came from the NFL and this is a little bit different backing up off the ball a yard. It was good to get out here early and kind of get a feel for it.”

Maddox made a dozen starts during five seasons after getting drafted in the fifth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004, and joining the Houston Texans in 2006. He tallied 57 tackles, five sacks, a pass knockdown, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Walked away

His college career began at a junior college in Ellisville, MS., where he played for two seasons before walking away from the game entirely.

“I took a three-year break between junior college and Delta State,” Maddox said. “I was out three years just trying to find myself.”

He found his way to a job with a furniture store in Hattiesburg, MS., where he got a glimpse

into what his future might hold.

“I delivered to Brett Favre and went to his house,” Maddox recalled. “He bought all kinds of stuff, bedroom suites and living room suites. He’s got like a 60,000 sq.-ft. house, so he bought everything, really.

“I was telling him and his wife, Deanna: ‘One day, I’m going to be sacking you,’”Maddox said. “He was like: ‘Whatever!’ We’ve got the same agent now and we’re good friends. That kind of tells that story.”

Road less travelled

But Maddox’s road to the NFL didn’t go through the NCAA Division 1.

“When I decided to come back, I was 23, and I was 24 when I got drafted. It’s been great, I’m glad to be up here in Edmonton,” said Maddox, now 31. “I’ve still got a motor, though.”

Maddox attended Delta State, a Division 2 school where he went on to be named the Gulf South Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

“It’s a small college and I was the first guy that was drafted that high from that school.”

It was a dream come true.

“I always loved football and my best friend, who is like my brother, I played with him all my life,” Maddox said of Seattle Seahawks receiver Deion Branch.

“He was always like, ‘Man, you can do it. You’re just as good as these guys.’ He kept me motivated and I just went back and gave it a try. It worked out great for me.

“This is a new chapter in my life. I like the style of football that they’re playing and I think it will be great for me because my strength is quickness.

“I think that one yard off the ball will give me the edge on some guys.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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