Plenty at stake for Mays

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

Not to be confused with Willie Mays, but Jermaine Mays is sort of becoming the say-hey kid for the Argos.

Mays might start the season as the Argos starting wideside cornerback, pending how he shows tonight in the pre-season finale in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats.

Mays is in a battle for the job vacated by the retirement of Adrion Smith. The other candidates are veteran Dave Donaldson, who has bounced around the league and was signed as a free agent by Toronto after he went unclaimed in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft, and rookie Leron Mitchell.

Mays is an import while the other two are non-imports, so his ability to start could impact on the Canadian-American ratio.

If Donaldson or Mitchell start, it frees up a starting import spot somewhere else on the team.

"As we see in practice right now, he's an all-around player," veteran wideside defensive back Clifford Ivory said about Mays. "He loves to play man-to-man and he reads very well with his eyes. He's a pretty good player right now as far as I can see.

"We'll see what happens (tonight)."

Ivory, who began his CFL career with the Tiger-Cats, said Mays' eyes will certainly be opened playing at Ivor Wynne.

"He's going to see a different world, a different country, and and he's going to be like, 'Wow, this is crazy.' But I'm pretty sure he'll love it."

Mays is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, which also produced current Argos receiver Arland Bruce.

In fact, both were receivers in 1999.

Since graduating in 2002, Mays has played as a cornerback in stints in the National Football League, NFL Europe and the Arena League.

He began the 2006 Arena League season in Orlando, but was traded in March to Nashville for defensive specialist Khalil Carter, who is scheduled to return to the Argos after some limited playing time last year.

Nashville plays Chicago in tomorrow's Arena Bowl championship game.

BITS AND BITES

Quarterback Damon Allen will likely play a half, along with most of the starting offence ... The CFL fined Argos wide receiver Robert Baker an undisclosed amount yesterday for pushing a camera man. The incident came last week during Toronto's pre-season contest against visiting Hamilton last Friday. Baker, objecting to the presence of a handheld camera in his vicinity, aggressively pushed the camera and as a result, its operator aside. Baker has since apologized to TSN and the camera operator.

-- With files from CP


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