SPORTS

Some CFL players who are worth watching with training camps set to open

05/29/2013 01:49 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT
Veterans report to their clubs this weekend for the start of CFL training camps.

Here are 10 players to watch when camps officially open Sunday:

— Jon Cornish. The 28-year-old native of New Westminster, B.C., was the CFL's top Canadian last season after running for a league-high 1,457 yards. He was the first Canuck to lead the CFL in rushing since '88. But his dream season ended bitterly with a 35-22 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in the 100th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre.

— Drew Tate. The Calgary starter missed 14 regular-season games with a dislocated shoulder before suffering a season-ending fractured forearm in Calgary's West Division semifinal win over Saskatchewan. With Tate sidelined, veteran Kevin Glenn stepped in admirably and led the Stampeders past B.C. in the conference final before Calgary's Grey Cup loss to Toronto.

— Andrew Harris. The 26-year-old Winnipeg native did it all last year for the B.C. Lions. The five-foot-11, 202-pound running back rushed for a team-high 1,112 yards while adding 75 catches for 718 yards. Harris also scored 11 TDs and averaged an outstanding 5.9 yards per rush. His 105 catches since 2011 ranks first among CFL running backs.

— Emmanuel Arceneaux. The speedy six-foot-two, 211-pound receiver is back with B.C. after spending the last two seasons in the NFL. Arceneaux joined the Lions as a free agent in 2009 and in two CFL seasons amassed 130 catches for 1,971 yards — a solid 15.2-yard average — and 12 TDs.

— Mike Reilly. The Edmonton Eskimos acquired the six-foot-three, 215-pound Reilly from B.C. in January to compete for the No. 1 job. Reilly spent three seasons as a backup with the Lions. Incumbent Matt Nichols is coming off a dislocated ankle suffered in the East semifinal against Toronto.

— Geroy Simon. B.C. traded the CFL's all-time receiving yards leader to Saskatchewan this off-season. The 37-year-old spent 12 seasons with the Lions but had 54 catches for 700 yards and two touchdowns in 2012 due to hamstring injuries, the first time in 10 seasons he didn't surpass the 1,000-yard plateau. Simon needs 29 catches to break Ben Cahoon's all-time record (1,017).

— Buck Pierce. Injuries have plagued the Bombers starter throughout his CFL career. Despite that, Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke is rolling the dice with Pierce as his starter heading into training camp. Keeping Pierce healthy is crucial considering fourth-stringer Justin Goltz and newcomers Chase Clement and Max Hall are behind him.

— Khalif Mitchell. The six-foot-five, 315-pound defensive tackle is a force inside but was suspended twice last year before B.C. dealt him to Toronto. Initially, Mitchell said he wouldn't head East but the Argos expect the 28-year-old to be in uniform when camp opens. Mitchell had eight sacks and 54 tackles in 34 career games with the Lions.

— Chad Owens. The 31-year-old Hawaii native was an integral part of Toronto’s 2012 Grey Cup-winning squad. The CFL's outstanding player had a league-record 3,863 all-purpose yards and was its top receiver with 94 catches for 1,328 yards and six TDs. In April, Owens raised eyebrows by competing in a mixed martial arts event but emerged unscathed in earning a unanimous decision.

— Jamel Richardson. The six-foot-three, 215-pound slotback recorded a fifth-straight 1,000-yard season in 2012 with a team-high 63 catches for 1,016 yards and five TDs in 15 games. But in 2011, Richardson had 112 catches for 1,777 yards and 11 touchdowns — all career highs — in 17 regular-season contests.

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