Hewitt's making a run for Argos

Toronto Argonauts' Jerome Hewitt practices a kick off return at Erindale Campus is Mississauga....

Toronto Argonauts' Jerome Hewitt practices a kick off return at Erindale Campus is Mississauga. (Craig Robertson/QMI AGENCY)

Mike Ganter, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:23 PM ET

Jerome Hewitt has been trying to get to Argos camp for two years now.

A torn tendon in his foot at last year’s free-agent camp in Florida cost him his first shot, but he’s here now and trying to make the most of it.

Hewitt isn’t your typical football player. In fact, atypical might be more accurate.

At 5-foot-5 and about 170 pounds, Hewitt is small by hockey standards let alone football ones.

But Hewitt has speed and speed gets you noticed no matter what the sport or what size package you come in.

In his senior year with Southeastern Oklahoma State, a Division II school, Hewitt finished second in the country in kickoff returns and third in the nation in punt-return yardage.

The 100 or so fans who turned out for Saturday’s mock game at Argos training camp got a sneak peak of what Hewitt is capable of when he grabbed a wide field goal in his own end zone and went 115 yards, basically untouched to the other end zone for the score.

It was the only ovation the crowd offered up all afternoon and it was duly deserved.

“It was exciting,’ Hewitt said. “I had great blocking. I had like a seven- or eight-yard hole and I burst through it and got to the sideline. I started high-kneeing it and the punter came down to the sideline and I cut in on two guys when they both over pursued.”

Chad Owens made returns an exciting part of the Argonauts’ game last year and Hewitt would love to add to that element.

Ryan Christian was second to Owens on the team in kickoff returns and he has retired for a better-paying job in his home state of Texas so there is a spot, but in order to make the team Hewitt would also have to contribute at receiver where the Argos have plenty of depth this training camp.

Hewitt readily acknowledges this.

“It’s a great competition,” Hewitt said. “I’m just trying to get in the groove and make a team. Any way I can help the team I would love to help out. Whatever they want to put me at, I’m willing to do.”

He’s had his ups and downs but when he does make a mistake, Hewitt takes responsibility.

“Friday in practice I was supposed to do a drag route and I ran an out route,” Hewitt said. “Coach got on me pretty bad but I got that situated. I watched some film and made it all better.”

Hewitt has done a little extra research of his own and from what he sees his skill set is one that can work in the CFL.

Before he even stepped on a CFL practice field he was researching the league and came across one Michael (Pinball) Clemons.

“They said he was 5-foot-5, 160. I’m 5-foot-5 165-170 so I was looking on You Tube and checking out his highlights. He was doing spin moves and juking and jiving — punt returns, kickoff returns, missed field goal returns. He did it all.

“I said to myself: ‘I want to be that dude.’ ”

Clemons was on hand for rookie orientation a week and a half ago and Hewitt introduced himself.

And what kind of impression did Clemons leave on Hewitt?

“I said to myself I want to be that dude.”

The Argos wouldn’t mind adding a Pinball-type clone to the special teams terror they already foist on the rest of the league in Owens.

But for that to happen, Hewitt has to find a way to make this team first. 


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