CALGARY — University of Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley was thrilled when he was asked to be the Stampeders’ guest CIS quarterback during training camp.
In just one short week, Buckley has gained a wealth of professional-level experience, which he hopes will prove advantageous for the remainder of his CIS career.
“Hanging out with these players and coaches has certainly been teaching me a lot,” said Buckley, a graduate of Calgary’s Rundle College.
“It’s shown me what’s at the next level and it’s been an awesome learning experience so far.”
During his time at training camp, Buckley has had the opportunity to work with two CFL greats in Stamps coaches John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson.
He said it has been one of the most amazing experiences of his life.
“Both of those guys are two of the smartest football minds I’ve ever been around,” he said.
“I’m just trying to be a sponge whenever I’m with them and take in whatever I can. Hopefully I can learn some things to take back to CIS with me.”
Since he arrived at camp, Buckley has been working alongside athletes much bigger and faster than those he usually encounters at the university level.
He expects that the pace he’s been working at with the Stamps will help slow the game down once he returns to the CIS.
He noted that the difference between CIS and the CFL is just as much mental as it is physical.
“The players just aren’t this big (in CIS),” said Buckley. “You have to make your reads so much quicker and just process things a lot faster here.”
Buckley praised his current organization after witnessing firsthand what has become of former Dinos teammates Matt Walter and Anthony Parker.
“The Dinos have been doing pretty well at putting out CFL prospects,” he said.
Buckley is no stranger to success. At Rundle College, where he played for Stamps alumnus Tom Spoletini, Buckley won back-to-back provincial 3A titles while the Dinos have been Canada West conference champions in each of his three university seasons.