Thursday, October 20, 2011

Former Douglas College Royal joins Stamps

David Moll photo
By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

The Calgary Stampeders’ Johnny Forzani recently tweeted, “Don’t run…You will only die tired.” Sounds like strange advice coming from a wide receiver – till you realize that Forzani’s talking about a video game. It seems the 22-year-old Calgarian is a big fan of first-person shooter games.

Another interesting tidbit about Forzani is that he played a couple of seasons for the Douglas College Royals basketball team. James Anderson, who played with Forzani in 2008 – the year the Royals won the National Championship – remembers Johnny as a player with “explosive moves.”

Forzani (r), when he played basketball
for the Douglas College Royals.
                                 Jerald Walliser photo
“The thing that stands out about Johnny the most is his athleticism,” James says. “I remember first playing with him and thinking, ‘This guy is lightning quick.’ During games, he always tried to dunk, and you could tell he wanted to so badly. For a guy his height – I'll say 6'1 because if I said 5'11 he would hunt me down – dunking was not easy, but he was able to get a nice one near the end of the year, and he was jacked after he threw it down.”

After leaving Douglas, Forzani played football for Washington State University, where he tied a National Collegiate Athletic Association record for the longest touchdown reception – 99 yards. In 2007 he began playing for the Calgary Colts, the Stamps’ junior team, and was named Rookie of the Year and Most Outstanding Player. The Stampeders signed him in May 2010.

James says Forzani’s switch from basketball to football didn’t surprise him.

“After the season ended, Johnny called a bunch of us up to play some touch football. About 10 of us would get together and head out to any open field around Douglas, and we would play until we got kicked off the field. Johnny’s team usually won. I tried to stay with him a couple times, but there was no way I could, so I was usually calling for help once he ran past me.”

“You could just tell he was built for playing football.”

See Johnny Forzani in action when the Stamps square off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders tomorrow.