Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Linebacker Alex Singleton an Impact Player in Calgary Stampeders Secondary

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Linebacker Alex Singleton an Impact Player in Calgary Stampeders Secondary

Article excerpt

Singleton a force in Stampeders secondary

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CALGARY - A torrid pace in tackles combined with long hair erupting from his helmet in post-play celebration poses, Alex Singleton is having a CFL season that commands attention.

The Calgary Stampeders middle linebacker is tied for the league lead in defensive tackles at 80 alongside a master in the art -- B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian.

The Stampeders (9-1-1) will host Elimimian and the Lions (6-5) on Saturday at McMahon Stadium.

Calgary is coming off gruelling back-to-back wins over the Edmonton Eskimos that thinned both teams' ranks with injuries.

Singleton was a standout, however, with a combined 24 tackles in the two games plus a quarterback sack on Labour Day.

"You've got to step up in big games. That's when you want to play your best," Singleton said Tuesday following practice.

"I always like to think it's the beginning of the second half of the season. This is where you have to win and if you can win those two games, it's huge on what the season is going to lay out for us.

"I took those thoughts into those games, flew around and did my job."

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the 23-year-old is on pace to beat Calgary's franchise record of 116 defensive tackles held by George White (2005), as well as the league's Canadian player record of 113 held by former Toronto Argonaut Kevin Eiben (2005).

At six foot two and 235 pounds, Singleton possesses the size as well as the foot speed and relentlessness required of a middle linebacker. He's an impact player in a defence ranked No. 1 in the CFL.

"If you want to be a downhill running team, he's going to have a great day because he's going to be flying around," defensive co-ordinator DeVone Claybrooks said.

As Claybrooks puts it, the middle linebacker is also "the quarterback of the defence." Singleton communicates formations and schemes to his defence. …

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