Randy Chevrier is cutting a wide swath through the lunch buffet at Calgary Stampeders training camp, thanks to his appetite for success.
The fifth-year Stampeder, the top long-snapper in the Canadian Football League, has been moved to offensive guard after seven CFL seasons on the defensive line and could use some extra bulk to solidify his new job.
Chevrier, who turned 33 the day before camp opened, had spent most of the off-season adding lean muscle with a tough training regimen and strict diet. Now he’s been moved to the other side of the ball where football’s heavyweights reside.
“I spent all off-season trying to lose weight and come into camp at about 250-255 pounds,” Chevrier says.
“Then they told me I was going to the O-line, so now I’m up to about 265.
“This is a big learning curve and they put me there because they believe I can do it.”
Chevrier is entering his eighth year in the CFL and earned a Grey Cup ring with Edmonton in 2003, but the McGill product concedes the positional move has been his greatest test since joining the pro ranks.
“It’s a new challenge for me this year, so it’s not the same old, same old again. Now I feel like a rookie all over again,” Chevrier says.
The defending Grey Cup champs open the pre-season against the B.C. Lions tonight at 7 p.m. at McMahon Stadium with only a few jobs on the line as 20 of 24 starters from the Grey Cup team returned to compete for their roles. Spots are available along the defensive line where Mike Labinjo is the only veteran. At quarterback, starter Henry Burris and backup Barrick Nealy have secured their places on the depth chart. The third-string job is up for grabs between Drew Tate and Matt D’Orazio.