Saskatchewan Roughriders

Corey Grant - Receiver - 2003-08 - Wilfrid Laurier University


Grant a total team player - The Leader-Post - 21-08-2008

Corey Grant is the epitome of a consummate CFL professional.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver has carved out a 10-year football career. He's earned Grey Cup rings with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999 and in 2007 with the Roughriders. But he hasn't been a star or even recorded a 1,000-yard season as a receiver. His career best was three touchdowns in a season and he has just 14 in total with Hamilton, the Montreal Alouettes and the Roughriders.

Despite those statistics, Grant returns each year for another training camp, earns a spot and confirms his status as a leader and steady player.

Corey Grant   Wilfrid Laurier
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1999 Ham 55 859 15.6 57 3
2000 Ham 32 499 15.6 55 2
2001 Ham 38 544 14.3 65 3
2002 Mtl 25 385 15.4 43 0
2003 Ssk 39 511 13.1 53 3
2004 Ssk 18 293 16.3 53 0
2005 Ssk 20 197 9.9 29 1
2006 Ssk 21 342 16.3 46 2
2007 Ssk 38 458 12.1 30 0
2008 Ssk 30 274 9.1 31 1
2009 Ham 9 89 9.9 17 1
Total 11 325 4,451 13.7 65 16

"I just do my job,'' said Grant, who will be a starting wide receiver when the Roughriders play the Edmonton Eskimos here today (7 p.m., TSN). "I always come into camp in the best shape that I can be and make it as hard as I can for the coaches to let me go. If that happens, it's part of the game. I try to hold them off as long as I can.''

Grant has played in 160 games and has 302 receptions for a total of 4,257 yards. He has had 15 receptions for 151 yards this season. But there is more to Grant's game than receptions, yards and touchdowns. He is also one of the brightest personalities on a team loaded with characters. He is loud, engaging and a leader in the lockerroom.

"Corey doesn't have the numbers but he has always been a core leader and core guy on the team,'' said kicker Luca Congi. "He works his butt all off all of the time. The thing I want people to know about Corey is he brings the best attitude. You can never catch him on a bad day. He loves coming to work and he loves coming to practice. It shows when he plays in games.''

The good news just keeps rolling for Grant as he became a first-time father Aug. 9. Grant and his wife, Jennifer, had a baby girl, Qiawna. Grant said the name is Hawaiian and translates into God's gracious gift.

"My wife wanted to go to Hawaii but since I couldn't take her, we decided to give our daughter an Hawaiian name,'' said Grant.

Grant's personality surfaces when asked about being a father.

"It's the greatest feeling,'' said Grant. "The weirdest part was when my dad called me dad. That's when I really thought that I was a dad now.''

Grant has slipped into another parenting role. Injuries have rocked the Riders' receivers leaving Grant as the senior member of the starting five. Weston Dressler and Adarius Bowman are rookies. Michael Palmer is a veteran of six CFL campaigns, the last two with the Riders. Receiver Mike Washington is in his second season with the Riders and has appreciated the coaching that Grant supplies.

"He's a great leader,'' said Washington. "A lot of people probably don't know that he is among the funniest guys around.''

That side of Grant can been seen from the sidelines but really comes out in the lockerroom. Congi said players have to be on their toes or they will be targets of Grant's good-hearted jokes.

"Guys like that make the locker room more fun to be around,'' said Congi. "We're here for the majority of our day and when we are, we want to enjoy it. People like Corey make it easier to do that and make coming here a lot of fun.''

Grant and Riders quarterback Marcus Crandell have also developed a friendship. Crandell appreciates what Grant has accomplished over the years and with the Roughriders for the last seven.

"He fits well into this offence because he's one of those guys who can turn a six-yard pass into a big gain,'' said Crandell, who is in his fourth season of working with Grant. "That's what this offence is all about -- having guys who are capable of doing that.''

Crandell acknowledged the work Grant does with the younger receivers. He may be smiling and joking but when it comes to talk about a route or play Grant is all business.

"He helps me out because I try to focus in on things that I have to do on the field,'' Crandell said. "Corey takes the pressure of me because he does a great job of talking to the guys and making sure they understand concepts and everything else.''

Grant does that without worrying that one of the players may take his job.

"I want them to be successful because it helps the whole team and the receiving corps,'' said Grant, a graduate of Wilfred Laurier. "I'm not keeping anything from them. Anything that they want, I will help them.''