Mookie on the threshold of history

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

Don't arrive at Thursday's Argos-Stamps game too late or you might miss some Toronto football history.

Derrell (Mookie) Mitchell is 91 yards shy of matching Paul Masotti's club record for receiving yards. After four years between stints, he wants to break it quickly.

"The record is huge," said Mitchell, who landed back in Toronto after the Edmonton Eskimos released him June 23. "I've tried to visualize what it will be like and hopefully I can get it out of the way quick. But I won't (put it ahead of the team)."

Mitchell, 35, still is familiarizing himself with the offence, sitting out the first two games, but is expected to start after Patrick Johnson sprained an ankle in the 30-5 win over Hamilton. Johnson was on crutches yesterday.

Mitchell departed in 2003. He lists Masotti,whom he played with for three seasons, his mother Louise McKenney and brother Joseph as three big influences.

After leaving Texas Tech, he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1994, alternated between there and NFL Europe and wound up with the Argos in 1997, where he was CFL rookie of the year.

He caught more than 200 passes the past three years in Edmonton, but Toronto coach and former teammate Pinball Clemons had an inkling that Mitchell would someday return to break Masotti's mark.

Mitchell already holds the Argos mark of 73 touchdown receptions.

ARGOS CAREER RECEIVING LEADERS

Years Rec Yards

Paul Masotti 12 556 8,772

Derrell Mitchell 7 584 8,681

Darrell K. Smith 7 465 8,144

Mike Clemons 12 682 7,015

Terry Grier 6 404 6,817

Dick Shatto 12 466 6,684


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