Training camp can’t open soon enough for Peyton Logan.
The 5-foot-8, 189-pound Logan enjoyed a solid rookie season with the Calgary Stampeders, finishing second in the CFL in combined yards. With a year of Canadian football under his belt, Logan figures his second training camp should be more about fine-tuning his game than becoming acclimated with a new game, team and country.
“Just that experience alone will help me evolve my game more,” the amiable Logan said. “I’ve always been a playbook-type of guy and once I got into the playbook, all I need then was that experience.
“Once I get that experience and learned how we run our offence, the sky is the limit.”
Logan amassed 2,078 total yards in 16 regular-season games last season. That earned him Calgary’s nomination for the CFL’s top rookie award, which was captured by Winnipeg receiver Dalton Schoen.
The bulk of that production came on special teams as Logan was fifth over all in both punt returns (74 for 787 yards) and kickoff returns (25 for 612 yards, TD). He also returned a missed field goal 122 yards for a touchdown.
With Calgary also boasting CFL rushing leader Ka’Deem Carey (1,088 yards 5.5-yard average, 10 TDs), Logan saw limited snaps on offence. The former Tennessee-Martin star accumulated 365 yards rushing and three TDs on 58 carries (6.3-yard average) while adding 18 receptions for 192 yards.
“I like special teams, I just like playing the sport of football,” said Logan. “That [returning kicks/punts] is just another opportunity to get the ball into my hands.
“Once you get the ball, you have to make something out of it. Luckily, the ball bounced my way, I did okay on special teams. Hopefully, I can do better this year.”
Added Kenny Kim of Summit Athletes, Logan’s Florida-based agent: “Logan is one of the most humble, honest and hard-working players in the league. When he’s on the field, he’s one of the most dynamic playmakers and he brings a lot of explosion and big-play ability to his team.”
Logan was a first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference selection in 2021 after rushing for 1,143 yards and four TDs on 156 carries (7.2-yard average). But he also played special teams throughout his college career, returning 42 kickoffs for 1,067 yards (25.4-yard average) with four TDs.
For CFL rookies, playing special teams is a fact of life. The good news, though, is returners will get ample opportunity to shine given the abundance of kicks/punts in three-down football and the Canadian game being played on a longer, wider field.
While initially being excited about the prospect of playing on a bigger field, Logan said the Canadian game took some getting used to early on.
“I was used to the short field and knew how many steps I had until I get to the sideline,” he said. “So I had to really adjust to that [in CFL].
“And maybe having 12 people on the field. But other than that, I had no problems adjusting.”
Another difference in Canada is the absence of the fair catch although CFL defenders must remain at least five yards from the player who’s attempting to field the ball.
“I love that little halo they give you,” Logan said with a chuckle. “It was a little bit of an adjustment but not something that hindered my performance.
“It was like, ‘Oh, I get to return the ball more often now.’ I really like the longer field, it gives me more space to the what I’ve got to do.”
With Carey established as Calgary’s main rusher, Logan said he looks forward to giving a defence something different to consider when he gets into the backfield. The 5-foot-9, 207-pound Carey is effective running between the tackles while the speedy Logan can help establish the edge.
But Logan said he also enjoys being a receiver.
“As long as I touch the ball, be it on a hand-off or pass, it really doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I like to be involved in the passing game, I love the passing game, actually, it’s exciting.
“But running the ball is also exciting.”
Logan has but one goal for 2023, and that’s helping Calgary win a Grey Cup title. And he plans to pick the brains of his teammates and coaches to help gain the knowledge he figures he’ll need to do his part in trying to make that happen
“Knowledge is power and once I know more, I can play faster,” he said. “I want to learn something new about the CFL game every day.
“That’s my goal.”
Logan said while he expects to be better in 2023, all he really controls is giving supreme effort each and every day.
“[Stamps officials, fans] can expect everything I’ve got,” he said. “I should be better but that’s God’s will, only God knows how good I’ll play.
“I really don’t care about individual awards or stuff like that. As long as we win the championship, I’m happy. Be it on special teams, at running back, on the [practice roster] injured, I don’t care how we do it as long as we get it done.”