Rookie playing big role

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

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

Winnipeg’s 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. “It’s what we’re 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 can’t let the time off affect me,” said Jeffers-Harris, 22. “I was looking forward to my playing days when I was able to play. It’s finally here so I’m 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. “He’s a lot stronger than people think he is. We’ve got to make sure we do things that he can be successful at.

“He’s at a position that’s real vital in our offence. He does a lot of blocking; he does a lot of different things. It’s hard for a rookie to handle all those things. Sometimes, it takes a year or two. So, we’ve got to make sure we spoon-feed him on some of those things, but he’s 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, we’re 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 haven’t done it very much. I’ve always practised them. I’ve 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 didn’t get my opportunity to return.

“I love kick returns. I did it in high school so, that’s what it reverts back to for me. I plan on taking some back, that’s 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 ain’t 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 I’m looking forward to having better games than that.”

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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