Eskimos get Tuff

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:43 AM ET

EDMONTON - When the going gets tough, so do the Edmonton Eskimos.

Well, at least they got Tuff Harris on Tuesday.

And with a handle like that, you’re either going to grow up a football player or a bull rider.

It turns out the Green and Gold’s newest addition has done both.

“A lot of people have challenged the name. I’ve had to step up a few times to it,” said the six-foot, 180-pound University of Montana product, who has suited up for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. “Since I was an infant, I had the name and used it.

“I’ve actually done a little bull-riding myself. Tuff, Tuff Hedeman, a lot of people always go with that.”

Except for his new head coach.

Kavis Reed has done his homework on his bodaciously nic-named recruit.

“His real name is Chester David,” Reed said. “I’ve already spoken to him, he won’t be called Tuff until he proves it.”

In fact, Harris’s given native name as a member of the Crow Nation is Chaawagiichish, meaning Rejoice in Prayers.

Either way, Reed is looking forward to putting a face to the name. Or, at least, a game face.

“We are very excited about the potential of this young man because his collegiate film shows that he is an extremely gifted athlete in terms of being very versatile. He can also return the ball as well as play defensive back.

“He was a top-recruited receiver coming out of high school and into college. So we’re going to look at him in a number of different positions.”

Although Harris is on the practice roster, he got some good looks at cornerback and on special teams in Tuesday’s on-field session.

“This is definitely an opportunity for me, Edmonton’s had my rights for some time now,” Harris said of his new league and new country. “They’ve been watching me and know what I can do.

“I’d love to be out there. I think it’s going to be fun.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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