Medlock makes his mark with Ticats

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:33 PM ET

HAMILTON - He went from being stuck on the shelf in Edmonton last year to becoming a top-shelf CFL kicker in Hamilton.

Justin Medlock is in the race for the lead in kicking points, just eight behind Montreal Alouettes Sean Whyte.

His football career has been rejuvenated since being released by the Toronto Argonauts in October 2010, just two days prior to joining the Edmonton Eskimos.

“When they picked me up, I was sitting in California just coming out of a movie and I thought, ‘What, Edmonton?’ ” said Medlock, who was born in Fremont, Calif. “Because they already had (Derek) Schiavone, who is a great guy and great kicker.”

And they used him to replace Noel Prefontaine, whom they traded back to Toronto, while Medlock was relegated to the practice roster for the last four games of the season.

“Then I got what they were doing after a couple weeks. They were holding me to trade me or maybe even put me in for the playoffs,” Medlock said. “Smart move on their part, I guess. They got something out of it, right?”

As did Medlock, who was named the league’s special-teams player of July, going 12 for 14 on field goals, including a career-long 55-yarder in B.C.

The UCLA product topped that last week in Montreal, where he tied a Ticat record 57-yard field goal — the longest in the CFL this season.

“It’s good to finally get one of those 57s. I didn’t really hit it as well as I’d like and it went in,” Medlock said. “But I’ve had a couple other 57s where I thought I crushed them and I thought I hit it good and then I pulled them.”

Medlock was also the third Ticat to record a pass that game, a six-yarder on a fake punt.

“They called it actually on the one when I kicked the 57,” Medlock said. “And I’m in my coach’s ear because we have the Kick for the Kids, you know?

“I’m like, ‘Coach, we don’t get money for the punts. It’s for the kids, kick it.’ I’m just joking, but that’s what I should have said.”

Medlock also gets his kicks out of joking around with his roommate and Toronto Argonauts running back Andre Durie.

“It’s been a rough household for him lately, so I kind of give it to him every day,” Medlock said of Durie’s squad’s 2-8 record.

VIRTUAL VICTORY: It’s not just at work where Medlock is keeping score of their friendly competition.

“He lost to me in a video game and I’m like: ‘You can’t beat me in anything,’ ” Medlock said, laughing. “You can’t beat me in football, you can’t beat me in video games, you can’t beat me in nothing.”

Of course, the two were playing the new Madden NFL 12 video game, where Medlock’s Pittsburgh Steelers steamrolled Durie’s Dallas Cowboys.

“I’m not a big video-game guy, but it was funny because I chucked a hail Mary with six seconds left and caught it and then I went for two and beat him,” Medlock said. “And he was so mad, throwing the controller.

“So it was good.”

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