ONE player and two builders make up the 2017 class set to join the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame.
Terrence Edwards, one of the greatest receivers in team history, along with former board members David Asper and Gene Dunn, will be honoured at the Hall of Fame Legacy Gala Dinner on Oct. 11, the team announced Thursday. A separate celebration will take as part of the Hall of Fame Game Oct. 14 against the B.C. Lions at Investors Group Field.
"We are thrilled to be adding these three gentlemen as deserving members into our Hall of Fame," said Wade Miller, president & CEO of the Winnipeg Football Club, in a release. "Terrence, David and Gene still remain prominent names in the Manitoban community today, and we know fans will be thrilled with this year’s inductees."
Edwards played seven seasons with the Blue and Gold, joining the team in 2007 and retiring at the end of the 2013 season. He sits fourth in team history in receptions (469) and receiving yards (7,200) and 10th in yards from scrimmage (7,273). Edwards played in three Grey Cups — once as a rookie with the Montreal Alouettes, and as a Bomber in 2007 and 2011 — and was named a CFL all-star twice (2007, 2010). In nine seasons in the CFL, he amassed 508 catches for 7,637 yards and 47 touchdowns.
Asper is a former chairman and vice-chairman of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers board, vice-chairman of the CFL Board of Governors and vice-chairman of the 2006 and 2015 Winnipeg Grey Cup festivals. He has also been presented with both the Commissioner’s Award from the CFL and the Chairman’s Special Award from the Winnipeg Football Club.
"It’s very humbling. Gene and I never got involved ever thinking it was going to lead to this kind of recognition," Asper said Thursday. "You just go with your heart and go as hard as you can and hope that it works out. And then this happens and it’s just so unexpected. When you look at who else has been recognized and who else is in this club... I’m not normally lost for words but I am. I really am."
Dunn, appointed first by the City of Winnipeg to sit on the Blue Bombers board in 1999, went on to serve as vice-chairman in 2000 and 2001 before serving as chairman from 2002-04. He served on the CFL board from 2000 to 2009 and was chairman for three of those years, 2007-09. Dunn temporarily took over as league commissioner following the departure of Tom Wright, and ultimately was part of the hiring process in 2007 that led to Mark Cohon being named the 12th commissioner in league history.
Mo is a go
Maurice Leggett is coming off a stellar 2016 season, where the Blue Bombers’ strong-side linebacker finished tied for the league lead in interceptions with seven, three of which he returned for touchdowns.
Just don’t say that to him.
"I feel like it was an average season. We didn’t win it all, for starters, no matter about my individual accolades," Leggett said. "There are a lot of great teams out there. Once I get an interception in every game then I’ll be satisfied. And that’s all the way to the Grey Cup."
It was only the second day of practice for Leggett, who returned from a lower-body injury Wednesday after pulling up lame in Day 1 of training camp back in late May. Now in his 10th season in the CFL, Leggett said he wasn’t worried about the lost time.
"I feel like I’m very adjustable to what we have in place right now," Leggett added. "I’ve been coaching in the film room with the guys, just picking their brains as well as they’re picking mine, the younger guys. We’re right on pace and when they have a question they always come to me before they go to coach, so that speaks a lot."
That said, he is glad to be back with his teammates, as they look to improve a secondary that was far and away the leaders in takeaways — the Bombers finished with a +29 turnover ratio – but also gave up the most yards in the CFL.
"It’s very important. You have to know your teammates," said Leggett. "You have to know who you’re going into Game 1 with and just know the tendencies of each other and start building a bond with them. And that’s just only the beginning."
As for his injury, Leggett said all feels fine with his body.
"It’s wonderful. Just making strides and hopefully I can go the whole time and not take any plays off."
Harris pulls up lame
Bombers running back Andrew Harris looked to suffer an injury midway through practice. Harris pulled up lame on a 12-on-12 drill. He was in some discomfort, favouring his left leg before taking some time off. Harris wasn’t his usual smiling self at the end of practice as he made his way through the tunnel and towards the locker room.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea provided little update, saying he was sure everything would be OK.
"Whatever he did, we’ll find out soon enough," O’Shea said. "Andrew is a tough man, tough kid. We expect him to be fine."
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