Rookie playing big role

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

For a guy whos missed two years, the rookie speedster is certainly making up for lost time in a big hurry.

Winnipegs import slotback Terence Jeffers-Harris wowed the crowd by catching two highlight-reel passes for touchdowns when the Blue Bombers lost to the Toronto Argonauts last Friday.

First, Jeffers-Harris hooked up with quarterback Buck Pierce for an electrifying 60-yard touchdown that had given the Bombers a 27-24 lead in the third quarter.

It was an easy pitch and catch with Buck (Pierce), he said. Its what were used to doing, and I had a lot of field once I cut back across and it was off to the races from there.

Then, with 16 ticks left on the clock, Jeffers-Harris snagged another Pierce pass, escaped a tackler, and raced for a 38-yard TD that pulled Winnipeg to 36-34, keeping its faint hopes alive.

In fact, it was a breakout game for Jeffers-Harris, who missed his last two years of college football due to a transfer and other problems. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Lawrenceville, Ga., native caught seven passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

I cant let the time off affect me, said Jeffers-Harris, 22. I was looking forward to my playing days when I was able to play. Its finally here so Im ready to play.

Jeffers-Harris is currently seventh in the CFL with 172 yards on 10 receptions.

We knew he had great speed, great size, said Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice. Hes a lot stronger than people think he is. Weve got to make sure we do things that he can be successful at.

Hes at a position thats real vital in our offence. He does a lot of blocking; he does a lot of different things. Its hard for a rookie to handle all those things. Sometimes, it takes a year or two. So, weve got to make sure we spoon-feed him on some of those things, but hes a talent.

Not only that but Jeffers-Harris returned three kickoffs for 50 yards, finishing the match with 202 combined yards.

He did a good job and bounced another one, and if we get a couple of creases, were going to break those, LaPolice predicted.

Jeffers-Harris has now returned a total of six kickoffs for 76 yards (12.7-yard average).

I try my best with what I can do, he said. I havent done it very much. Ive always practised them. Ive always been on the depth chart (as a kick returner). But at UConn (University of Connecticut), we had a couple of veteran returners and I didnt get my opportunity to return.

I love kick returns. I did it in high school so, thats what it reverts back to for me. I plan on taking some back, thats the plan.

Jeffers-Harris, who also rushed for 11 yards on one carry in his first game, is sixth in the CFL with 259 combined yards.

But, after the Argo game, he suggested that we aint seen nothing yet.

I feel I had a good game, something to build off, you know especially early for me in the first season, he said. It was good for me. But Im looking forward to having better games than that.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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