This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Stampeders’ 1992 Grey Cup championship squad.
In the coming months, we’ll be taking a look back at the squad that snapped the Stamps’ 21-year title drought and the cast of characters responsible for the conquest.
This time, we take a look at tailback Keyvan Jenkins.
Keyvan Jenkins Number: 23 Position: Running back College: UNLV In 1992: 31 years old, 3rd season with Stamps Regular season: 535 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 28 receptions for 376 yards and 2 TDs Grey Cup: 25 rushing yards, 2 receptions for 9 yards
The Calgary Stampeders had an experienced and talented running back in 1992 as well as a surefire method for keeping him fresh through the grind of an 18-game season plus playoffs. It’s called having Doug Flutie at quarterback.
On their way to a 13-5 season, a West final victory over the Edmonton Eskimos and a Grey Cup triumph over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Flutie-guided Stamps put the ball in the air 804 times in 1992. Meanwhile, the Stamps ran just 391 times that season and that figure is inflated by the fact that the nimble-footed Flutie had 113 carries all by himself.
So that meant a very manageable workload for 31-year-old Stamps tailback Keyvan Jenkins. After toting the ball 166 times the year before, the Stockton, Calif., product had just 97 carries in 1992. That said, Jenkins was very efficient with that reduced workload as the pass-happy nature of the Stamps offence made it impossible for opponents to stack the box.
Jenkins’ yards-per-carry average in 1992 was 5.5, the best figure for a Stamps tailback in an 11-year span between 1987 and 1997.
Though he ran the the ball less frequently, Jenkins was a dangerous receiving threat for the Red and White as he hauled in 28 passes for a 13.4-yard average per catch, a very high total for a running back. Just for comparison’s sake, the best average for a featured CFL tailback during the 2016 season was C.J. Gable’s 10.4.
Jenkins had a solid CFL career, breaking in with the BC Lions in 1984. His best season was his second in Vancouver as he had 1,401 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns and recorded career highs in carries (193), rushing yards (964), catches (51) and receiving yards (437).
After a third season in BC, he tried his luck south of the border and saw limited action with the San Diego Chargers in 1987 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988.
Jenkins returned to Canada in 1990 when he joined the Stamps and he spent a total of four seasons in Calgary. In 1991, he became just the fifth player in franchise history to record 10 rushing touchdowns in a reason.
The CFL’s expansion into the U.S. allowed Jenkins to conclude his career in his backyard as he suited up for the Sacramento Gold Miners, whose home stadium – Hornet Field – was less than an hour away from Jenkins’ hometown of Stockton.
Jenkins now lives in Las Vegas, the same city in which he played for college football for the UNLV Rebels.