08/27/2014 05:37 EDT | Updated 10/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Former Calgary Dino Linden Gaydosh anxious to resume playing football

Patience is not exactly Linden Gaydosh's forte.

The six-foot-four, 305-pound defensive lineman says he's "going stir crazy" dealing with the uncertainty that is his fledgling pro football career. Gaydosh, taken first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in last year's CFL draft, was released Sunday by the Carolina Panthers and will wait for the NFL's final cutdown this weekend to see if he can land a practice-roster spot with another team.

If not, then the 23-year-old native of Peace River, Alta., will gladly sign with the Ticats.

"I've had nothing to do for the last four days, I'm going stir crazy walking around trying to find something to keep me busy," he said via telephone Wednesday from Charlotte, N.C. "I just want to know where I'll be.

"It's the indecision I don't like."

And then there's the matter of trying to pass the time getting a decent workout at the gym in his apartment complex.

"It's kind of depressing considering what I just had a few days ago," Gaydosh said with a chuckle. "I think the heaviest dumbbell here is 60 pounds.

"It's not quite in my weight range."

Gaydosh was indeed a heavyweight during his collegiate career with the Calgary Dinos. He was Canadian university football's top rookie in 2009 and helped Calgary reach the 2010 Vanier Cup, earning defensive MVP honours after returning an interception 20 yards for a TD in the team's 56-3 Hardy Cup win over Alberta.

After receiving second-team All-Canadian honours in 2011, Gaydosh earned a second straight Canada West all-star nod and finished as the third-ranked prospect for the 2013 CFL draft but was taken first overall following an outstanding performance at the league's annual evaluation camp.

Less than a week after the draft, Gaydosh signed as a free agent with Carolina. But he spent his rookie NFL season on injured reserve after undergoing surgery for a herniated disc in his back suffered while performing a conditioning drill.

Gaydosh went under the knife in August 2013 and wasn't cleared medically until Jan. 14. He said his back stood up just fine to the rigours of pre-season workouts and early stages of training camp before torn ligaments in his left foot forced Gaydosh to miss all three of Carolina's exhibition games.

So when the Panthers delivered the bad news about his release, Gaydosh wasn't the least bit surprised.

"It was unfortunate but not unexpected," he said. "I figured by missing that third pre-season game, there wasn't going to be enough opportunity for me to show what I could do.

"I had a good idea it was coming but still, it wasn't a pleasant experience."

Adding insult to injury, Gaydosh was let go shortly after receiving a clean bill of health from the Panthers.

"It was kind of frustrating just getting to that point where I'm healthy and then having it taken all away from me again," he said. "I got further into training camp this year than I did last year . . . it went from going in there and being great to having a minor setback but it was a bad timing issue.

"My foot is good, 100 per cent. I'm ready to go, I just need to get on the field somewhere."

And unlike the vast majority of young players, Gaydosh at least has options. If no NFL teams come calling, he can head to the CFL.

"I'm more than happy about what I've got," he said. "A lot of kids strive just to get to the CFL and for me to kind of have both at my doorstep is more of a blessing than anything."

Injuries have certainly stalled Gaydosh's pro career but also strengthened his resolve.

"To be honest, more than anything it's just built up more of a desire to play," he said. "I've never taken this much time off from football before and as I've said, I'm going stir crazy without it.

"I can't wait to get back into it and not just back on to the practice field but into that atmosphere again."

And when Gaydosh resumes his career, he'll do so with a more refined sense of appreciation based upon the physical challenges he faced in Carolina.

"I've learned that it (playing pro football) can come and go just like that," he said. "As much work as you put into it, it can be taken from you in a blink of an eye."