One of the most exciting plays in the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 25-25 tie with Winnipeg on Saturday was when first-year running back Quincy Walden returned a missed field-goal 87 yards … and was tackled by the Bombers’ kicker.
“I wasn’t really worried about him but then I felt someone tug on me and I thought ‘oh no, not the kicker’,” Walden said on Monday as Riders training camp returned to Saskatoon.
Walden would learn it wasn’t the average kicker chasing him down. It was Felix Menard Briere, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds, the fastest time at the CFL’s East Regional Combine.
“It’s still no excuse but I found out he ran a 4.51 before, that’s a fast kicker,” Walden said.
The five-foot, seven-inch tall native of Milan, Tenn. showed his elusiveness by adding another 56 yards returning punts and kickoffs.
“That made me feel more confident, this camp is hard and this boosted me up.”
Walden spent four seasons at Bethel University in Minnesota, totalling 124 carries, 982 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also spent time at receiver with 102 receptions for 1,577 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 2,526 kickoff return yards and 798 punt return yards.
Now that his name is out there, Walden is hoping his performance is the first of many opportunities in Saskatchewan.
“I didn’t get a lot of snaps at running back and I still want to play offense so I need to work harder still,” he said.
And of course, get faster.
“When I break away, don’t get caught by a kicker.”