Stefan LeFors was in Lac du Bonnet yesterday, competing in the Never Alone Foundation's third annual Fish for a Cure derby.
After his team hooked a couple of a walleye and a perch, LeFors got a text message from the Bomber PR department informing him that he had snagged the biggest catch of the day: Winnipeg's No. 1 quarterback job.
"Now that's a keeper," LeFors said after he arrived back in Winnipeg late yesterday afternoon.
Four years after graduating from the University of Louisville, where he had a star-studded career with the Cardinals, the 28-year-old lefthander is finally a starting quarterback at the pro level. Bombers head coach Mike Kelly made the announcement during his daily media briefing yesterday.
"It's been a lot of hard work that I've put into this," LeFors said. "I'm excited about the opportunity that I'm going to get. I'm going to keep working hard to make the most of this opportunity."
It should be pointed out that none of this is a real surprise. The writing was on the wall when head coach Mike Kelly traded for him in January and on the same day said Kevin Glenn's time in Winnipeg was all but over.
Kelly, who worked with LeFors in Edmonton last season as the team's receivers coach, sent a 2009 second-round draft pick and a 2010 first-rounder (if LeFors starts more than half of the upcoming season) to the Eskimos in exchange for the Louisiana native.
LeFors didn't know for sure that the gig was going to be his, but he had a pretty good idea.
"It wasn't 100%. I was pretty confident that I was traded for to be brought here to be the guy, but I still had to come out here and pretty much prove it," LeFors said. "I had to show coach Kelly and the coaching staff and other players that I could play in this league."
LeFors had a solid first two weeks of camp and then helped put 19 first-quarter points on the board in Winnipeg's 32-22 pre-season win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Wednesday night. He was 5-for-8 for 96 yards and looked to be in complete control.
That's all Kelly needed to see to finally reveal the worst-kept secret on Maroons Road.
"I was convinced of it a while ago, but he did a good job (Wednesday) night and did the things I expected him to do," Kelly said. "I'm pleased with the way things are going along, and it's time now that he starts getting extra reps to get him prepared for the season."
LeFors, who follows in the footsteps of Kerwin Bell, Khari Jones and Glenn as Winnipeg's No. 1 pivots this decade, wasn't sure if he'd ever become a starter while being stuck behind all-star Ricky Ray in Edmonton the last two seasons.
"That thought had crossed my mind, definitely," LeFors said. "Being in Edmonton was a good place, but at the same time it was not a great spot for me to try and get something going in my career."
That chance is finally here, but it won't mean squat unless he does something with it.
"We still got a long way to go," he said. "By no means have we arrived, but it's off to a good start."
Read Kirk Penton's Bomber Beat blog at winnipegsun.com/blogs
THE NEW NO. 1
Name: Stefan LeFors
Birthdate: June 7, 1981 (28 years old)
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Weight: 198 lbs
College: Louisville '05
Family: wife Joy, son Luke and daughter Ella
Notable: owns Louisville's best completion percentage at 66% ...was a fourth-round draft pick of the NFL's Carolina Panthers in 2005 ... spent the last two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos, throwing six touchdowns and nine interceptions ... he was 0-5 as a starter with the Eskimos ... several members of his immediate and extended families are deaf, including his mom, dad and brother.