Bombers' Glenn is in control

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:14 PM ET

REGINA -- Kevin Glenn knows he's in for an interesting ride over the next few months as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers new No. 1 quarterback.

The team is rebuilding, and not everyone believes the 26-year-old from Detroit should be the foreman. This is his fifth CFL season, but it marks the first time he enters a campaign as the starter.

Everyone wants to know if he possesses the tools to remain in the big chair. Some already believe he doesn't, even though he had a respectable CFL starting record of 9-11 going into last night's 2005 opener against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

You'd think the man would be ready to strangle someone, but he isn't. He has an excellent support staff that is crucial to his mental well-being.

"I talk to my father, my mother, my girlfriend. I talk to them a lot," Glenn said yesterday, just a few hours before the biggest game of his pro career. "They're real supportive. They say 'Just stick in there.'

"If stuff starts going bad or you're not doing so well, those are the people you gotta talk to. You need it. You can't do it alone."

Glenn has had a lot of help over the years, but he was the one on the field getting it done.

He started all four years at St. Martin dePorres, a Catholic high school "smack dab in the middle of Detroit." His coach, Greg Carter, let him call his own plays as he guided the Eagles to two state titles.

"He gave me a lot of ability to do what I wanted to do," said Glenn, who still leans on Carter nine years later. "He had confidence in me to where if he sent a play in and I wanted to change it, I could change it."

When a Detroit Free Press story appeared midway through his senior season proclaiming that Glenn wouldn't be a college quarterback, Carter told him to ignore it.

Glenn proceeded to start all four years at Illinois State, establishing 25 records and guiding the Redbirds to their first Gateway Football Conference title.

"It's hard to step up to the next level and start all four years," Glenn said.

"My parents (Kevin Sr. and Michelle) had a lot to do with it.

"I'm the oldest of five children, so I've been in like a leadership role all my life, where I had to look after my brothers and stuff while my parents went to work."

Glenn may have plenty of things to worry about in his professional life, but they doesn't prevent him from staying close to his family, which includes younger brothers Jason, Brandon and Marlon and little sister Michelle, the baby of the family who's in Grade 8.

Helped him find romance

Glenn's familial ways even helped him find romance last fall. He was watching Marlon play basketball when Asha Day, a former middle school classmate of his who's now a teacher in Detroit, caught his eye.

"Her brother and my brother played on the team together, and we actually ran into each other at the basketball game," Glenn said. "That's how it got started."

Glenn will watch every movie ever made and consume CSI reruns to get away from it all when he's in Winnipeg, but Day is only a phone call away.

"I've talked to her a lot," he said.

On the field, though, it's all up to him. Bombers head coach Jim Daley said Glenn can't be looking over his shoulder, so he will get ample opportunity to prove himself.

Glenn feels he has the foundation -- and the track record -- that will allow him to succeed.

"You just have to try to not put any worries on yourself," he said. "Life is too short to worry about things you can't control, so you might as well just go out and have fun with it. If (a demotion) happens, it happens.

"The Lord won't put too much on your plate. He'll only give you as much as you can handle. That's how I look at the whole situation."


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