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Stampeders rookie receiver seizing CFL opportunity following stints with Dinos and Calgary Colts juniors
Published Thursday, September 13, 2018 4:31PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:24PM MDT
As injuries continue to plague the Stampeders, doors have opened for some of the team’s less-heralded members including rookie receiver Richard Sindani.
“Richie’s been great,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “He’s still got a lot to do, a lot to learn, a lot of improvement but he’s been doing a nice job on special teams. He’s learning different positions now offensively and definitely has taken a nice step forward.”
“We like what he’s doing though and we’re happy to have him.”
Sindani was selected by the Stampeders in the eighth round of the 2017 CFL entry draft following a promising season with the Calgary Colts juniors and three seasons with the University of Regina.
After participating in the 2017 Stampeders training camp, Sindani joined the University of Calgary Dinos and played in nine games. “I was here last year in the training camp and I think that set me up for the second time around,” said the 23-year-old Regina product. “I knew what to expect and I came to camp confident and I understood what I needed to do to make the team.”
The rookie credits the veterans in the Stampeders receiving corps for helping him learn the playbooks, the positions and how to prepare. “I think that’s really helped me, having those peers in my corner.”
Sindani first caught the eye of Bo Levi Mitchell in training camp this year and the Stampeders pivot questioned former U of C quarterback Adan Sinagra about the receiver’s time with the Dinos.
“I asked him ‘Man, did you all give him the ball much?’ and he said ‘No, not really’,” recounted Mitchell. “I was pretty confused by that because I’m watching him in camp and he’s routing guys up and he’s making great catches.”
The rookie receiver says he’s benefited from having Mitchell at quarterback. “After a game he said ‘I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what number you’re wearing or what your last name is or where you’re from. If you’re open, I’m throwing you the ball’,” said Sindani of Mitchell’s pep talk. “I think that’s the leadership he brings towards receivers and towards the offence and the rest of the team and it helps young players like me.”
“I like him a lot,” said Mitchell of Sindani. “Obviously we haven’t featured him a lot this year but he’s been a plug-and-play guy for us. A guy who kind of earned his way on special teams.”
“He’s got in the game for us a couple times and made some big plays.”
Dickenson says injuries will see the Stampeders field a different lineup for Saturday afternoon’s game in Hamilton. “We’re hoping to get some reinforcements but, yeah, we’ll have a different roster.”
Receiver Eric Rogers took to the field at McMahon on Thursday after undergoing knee surgery earlier this summer but he will not suit up Saturday. “It definitely looked like he was out there moving around and doing some things,” said Dickenson. “(He’s) closer to getting back in there.”
Dickenson says the Stamps will likely be without some starters in their secondary and possibly on the defensive line for the game against the Ti-Cats. “Micah (Johnson) is a possibility but it’s looking tougher for U-Dub (Ucambre Williams) and Ciante (Evans).”
With files from CTV’s Glenn Campbell