Hours after his flight touched down at Victoria International Airport, D’Shaun Greenaway was trotting onto the practice field with his new team.
A few days later, Greenaway experienced a different type of touchdown, cathching one from Westshore Rebels quarterback Scott Borden in the team’s season-opening loss to the Okanagan Sun.
The 6’5” Toronto native caught six other passes for a league-high total of 114 yards and he was named the B.C. Football Conference’s offensive player of the week on Tuesday to cap a remarkable first seven days on the Island.
“I’m a little bit shocked and taken aback. First week out and to get recognized for my playing was an honour,” he said.
Greenaway had little time to adjust to his new surroundings but felt a connection with Borden immediately. “[He] can ball … I’d never seen him play before I got here and then I went to practice and he threw me a fade and it just fell right in the breadbasket.”
Despite his towering frame, Greenaway’s favourite NFL wideouts include dimunuitive speedsters like Odell Beckham Jr., Steve Smith Sr. and Tavon Austin. It’s that type of agility that the former York University Lion hopes to bring to the Rebels’ attack.
“I try to play like a small guy but in a big body,” he said. “Mainly for the deep ball I try to use my body, shielding off defenders and using my length and reach,” he said.
But he says his best routes are slants and digs, keeping him much closer to the line of scrimmage. It’s not a bad place to be, given his 205-pound playing weight.
“A lot of guys are little bit weary trying to lay a hit and when they do it doesn’t really do much,” he said.
Greenaway doesn’t like to set yardage goals, although he said his first target is top 1,000 yards on the season, but he didn’t mince words when asked about his goal for the team.
“I want us to win the championship, to come out of the BCFC and then go home and play in Ontario for the national championship,” he said.
And given what he’s already accomplished in week one, it’s safe to say that if the Rebels are going to get back to the Canadian Bowl it’ll be with Greenaway playing a starring role.