By Jon Roe
Anthony Woodson will have his shot at the pros.
After missing all of last season and half of the season prior, the Dinos running back was still invited to the CFL combine and did well enough for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to take a chance on him in the fifth round at 29th overall.
“For me it’s the opportunity for the next level,” said Woodson. “With all the injuries I’ve had over the last couple of years, I was ecstatic that someone took the time out to draft me and give me that opportunity.”
Woodson missed five games in 2008 after he broke a rib and punctured a lung in the second week of the season. During the off season in 2009, Woodson fell awkwardly on his shoulder and needed surgery to repair it. Then he broke his foot and missed the entire 2009 season. He managed to get healthy for the 2010 CFL combine and impressed enough for six of the eight CFL teams to talk to him before the draft. One of the teams that didn’t? The Blue Bombers.
“It was one of the two I hadn’t talked to that actually drafted me. I was pretty shocked,” said Woodson.
Since the combine, he reaggravated his foot injury and required surgery to put a screw in his foot. He won’t be joining the Blue Bombers this year, but will be joining the Dinos in the fall as they try to claim the national crown.
With at least the opportunity of a CFL job already secure, Woodson can focus on helping his team accomplish that goal.
“Sometimes stats are important . . . to put you on the radar for pro teams,” he said. “Now that I’ve actually got drafted, I could really care less about stats. Really, my only concern is winning a championship with the Dinos.”
Woodson rejoins a crowded back field for the Dinos, which features two-time reigning conference rushing champ and former Canada West player of the year Matt Walter and Steven Lumbala, who was outstanding in a clean-up role for the Dinos last year. Woodson led the conference in rushing in his second-year with the Dinos and has rushed for over 1,842 yards and 13 touchdowns in 19 games.
The boot on Woodson’s foot comes off in a week and a half, and he’ll slowly begin getting up to full speed in preparation for the upcoming Canadian Interuniversity Sport season. In the meantime, he may fly out to Winnipeg in June to get a look at the team’s offence and peruse the Blue Bombers’ playbook.
“They really haven’t got into any depth of where they see me playing,” Woodson said. “That’ll be something I’ll be learning about in the next couple of weeks.”