June 26, 2013
The Canadian Football League will be kicking off its season this Thursday with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the Montreal Alouettes. There are four former Vols that will be suiting up for a CFL team this year, plus two more VFLs that are in the coaching ranks up North.
Three of the four former Vols (Demonte' Bolden, Jonathan Hefney and Demetrice Morley) will be taking the field for the Calgary Stampeders, while the fourth, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, is on the Edmonton Eskimos' roster. Calgary plays its opener on Friday night, hosting the British Columbia Lions, and Edmonton will play its first game Saturday afternoon against the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The two coaches (Jermaine Copeland and Cory Stone) will roam the sidelines with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts. The two teams will actually be facing each other for their season openers, with the Argonauts playing host to the Tiger-Cats on Friday night.
Here's a look at the former Orange & White members who are on rosters in Canada.
Demonte' Bolden, Defensive Line, Calgary Stampeders
After playing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009 and 2010, Bolden joined the Calgary Stampeders in 2011, where he spent his first season on the practice squad. Bolden started 11 of the final 12 games for the 2012 season and tallied 16 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery during that stretch. Bolden started 23 of 24 games for UT during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, his final two years as a Vol.
Jonathan Crompton, Quarterback, Edmonton Eskimos
Crompton will be playing his first year in the CFL after spending the last three years in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. In May he signed with the Edmonton Eskimos. Crompton started 19 games as a Vol, including 12 of 13 games in 2009 as a redshirt senior. He threw for 4,187 yards in his career with 36 touchdowns on Rocky Top.
Jonathan Hefney, Defensive Back, Calgary Stampeders
With four CFL seasons already under his belt, Hefney has taken his talents to Calgary this year. Hefney, who was first-team All-SEC in 2007 for the Volunteers, spent his four previous CFL seasons playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While with the Blue Bombers Hefney was named the 2009 CFL's East Rookie of the Year as well as a CFL East All-Star in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
Demetrice Morley, Linebacker, Calgary Stampeders
This year will be Morley's third in the CFL, all of which will have been in Calgary. During his first two years with the Stampeders Morley totaled 50 tackles and five sacks. Morley was only able to play two games last season before suffering a season-ending injury, but started all 16 regular-season games as a rookie in 2011. Morley played at UT with both Bolden and Hefney in 2005 and 2006, and the three will be teaming up again in Calgary.
Jermaine Copeland, Wide Receivers Coach, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Copeland, a member of Tennessee's 1998 National Championship team, was a standout player as a receiver during his 11-year CFL career. In 188 games, Copeland registered 622 receptions, 75 touchdowns and became just the 15th player in Canadian Football League history to total over 10,000 receiving yards. This will be Copeland's second year as the Tiger-Cats receivers coach, where he coached two of the top ten receivers in the league last year, his first as a coach.
Cory Stone, Defensive Line Coach, Toronto Argonauts
Stone started his coaching career in 2006 as the defensive line coach for the Arena Football League's Bakersfield Blitz. Prior to joining the Argonauts last year, Stone coached the defensive line at Clark Atlanta University, where the defense ranked first in the nation in pass defense, second in tackles for a loss and 11th in total defense. This will be Stone's second year as the defensive line coach for the Argonauts. Stone was a member of Tennessee's 1990 SEC Championship team that went on to beat Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.