On Brink of success

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

The pursuit of the latest promising young pivot who has yet to prove himself has been most intriguing.

When the Calgary Stampeders invited Alex Brink to a workout, they suddenly discovered that they were not allowed to do so because he was already on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats negotiation list. But when Brink showed reluctance to sign with the 'Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Joe Mack swung a draft-day deal to acquire his rights. The Bombers officially signed Brink to a CFL pact Tuesday.

"I talked to Hamilton and found out they already had a couple of guys with experience there," Brink said from his Eugene, Ore., hometown shortly after his signing was announced. "Then, I talked to Winnipeg and it sounded like it was a good situation for me there.

"The fact that he (Mack) traded for my rights tells me he has a lot of respect for my abilities and an opportunity is all I can really ask for."

Hamilton still has former Bomber QB Kevin Glenn and the promising Quinton Porter. Brink will battle Buck Pierce, Steven Jyles, Ricky Santos and Adam DeMichele for the starter's spot in camp.

Brink, 24, was picked in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft by Houston. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Washington State product spent parts of both the 2008 and '09 seasons with the Texans before being released last September.

"I don't know if it was his lack of size that hurt him in the NFL, although he's not that small," said Bomber assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson. "He still had some opportunities in the NFL but he came to the realization that there was a better opportunity for him up here.

"He's demonstrated significant success at the NCAA level to the point where he spent parts of two seasons in the NFL ... We're pretty excited and happy to be able to add him here."

Brink left Washington State with career records in passing yards, touchdowns, attempts, completions and total offence. In his senior year he threw for 3,818 yards, the second highest single-season total in the school's history. Brink finished his career as the third leading passer (yardage) in Pac-10 history -- behind Carson Palmer and Derek Anderson -- and fifth in touchdowns. Overall, he finished with a competition rate of 58.4, throwing for 10,913 yards and 75 TDs.

Brink, however, has just put the NFL dream on hold for now.

"I would like, at some point, to end up back in the NFL," he said. "But I need to see the field and coming to Canada and Winnipeg will give me a good opportunity to do that. The Canadian game is great for quarterbacks with its wide-open field ... Passing is one of my strong suits and I do understand defences and I feel this is a great fit for me.

"I'm a competitive guy and I want to win. This is going to be a fun experience."

Brink plans to be in town towards the end of this month to prepare for rookie camp with the other Bomber quarterbacks. He is the only one of the five who has never actually handled a CFL football.


Videos

Photos