BRETT CARTER slapped his signature on a standard CFL contract on Monday -- a moment he plans to remember with a framed copy.
And now comes the really fun part.
Carter, the 20-year-old Winnipeg Rifles receiver and University of Winnipeg student, has been the feel-good story of Bomber training camp. And tonight in a pre-season game against the Toronto Argonauts in the first football contest played at Investors Group Field, Carter will run onto the field as a member of the team he grew up idolizing.
"I can't wait for that," said a beaming Carter Tuesday. "I've been dreaming about this for the last two nights. I'm just picturing that... I hear it's a soldout crowd now. It's going to be unreal. I can remember when I was 5-6 years old in my seats watching the Bombers. And now getting to be able to play on the field with the Bombers... it's unreal."
CFL teams have often invited local junior players to training camp, but it's often been more of an experience-PR thing. But Carter, capitalizing on some injuries to other Canadian receivers, has jumped off the page with the extra opportunity.
Right to play
He's earned the right to play, insists Bomber management, and is even pushing for a roster spot.
"I think I've come in here and proven myself, that I can play and I can play against this high calibre of athletes," said Carter. "Getting the playbook down, competing against the rookies and then when the vets came in... my confidence kept building and building. Coming into it I wasn't that confident in myself, but just being here and going through the whole process I've built up a lot of confidence.
"Second day of rookie camp I was like, 'Some of these guys are from the States and some are from the CIS and they are all three, four, five years older than me and I can actually compete with them.' "
But now comes the next step. It's not just about running out of the tunnel in a CFL helmet and uniform for Carter, it's about keeping this thing -- GM Joe Mack called it a "great story" -- going for more than just one shining moment.
"I'm excited, I'm nervous a little bit as well," said Carter. "I just want to put the best foot out there and play to the best of my ability and show the coaches I've taken all of their coaching and can put it onto the field and play well.
"I'm glad they're giving me the opportunity to not just have this one opportunity. I could go on further with the Bombers as an active-roster player or even as a practice-roster player."
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