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January 28, 2019

BO HAPPY TO WELCOME SHERRITT

CALGARY, AB - SEPTEMBER 3, 2018: The Calgary Stampeders won 23-20 against the Edmonton Eskimos at Monday afternoon's Labour Day Classic at McMahon Stadium. (Photo by Candice Ward/Calgary Stampeders)

That sly-dog Bo Levi Mitchell isn’t above a little subliminal messaging.

“I’ve had a Stampeder internet picture on my phone the entire time, just waiting for him to come down here to Calgary,’’ confessed the reigning CFL MOP.

“You know how you put in a profile picture for when people call you?

“Well, I’ve had the Stampeder horse for him the whole time. So every time I’d message him, he’d see that.

“Just a not-so-subtle reminder that: ‘Hey, man. This is where you should be.’”

Seems Mitchell’s old Eastern Washington teammate finally got the hint.

Monday, J.C. Sherritt – for the last eight seasons the beating heart of the rival Edmonton Eskimos’ defensive resistance – switched allegiances, joining the Stampeders as linebacking coach.

Unsurprisingly, the quarterback on EW’s 2010 FCS National Championship team predicts stellar things ahead for his pal.

“J.C. is one of the biggest football guys I know,” praised Mitchell. “I know he’s very, very excited about coaching. We’ve talked about coaching together down the road.

“I told him to get a head start, then we can fill our staff when we’re both done with playing.”

Sherritt retired in mid-January after a career that included the 2012 Grey Cup, a then-record for most tackles in a season and the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. His trademark try, that unwillingness to surrender on a play, will, Mitchell is certain, segue nicely from the field to the sideline.

“Honestly, he’s not 6-foot-5, running a 4.3. He worked for everything single thing he had. He’s the football player he is because of what’s between his ears, his knowledge of, and love for, the game. To me, you can’t transition into coaching better than that.

“And I think he feels pretty lucky to be able to start under Huff and Dave.”

The middle-linebacking dynamo from Truckee, Calif., and the fastball pitcher from Katy, Tx., conspired on the Eagles’ collegiate title charge nine years ago.

“You could not find a better captain for a football team,” declared Mitchell with flat certainty. “A guy you wanted to follow. The one thing I loved about J.C. – he always wanted to do more, always wanted to do better.”

Sherritt’s decision at a youngish 30 years old to walk away from the on-field side of the game only a couple of weeks ago caught many off guard.

“Surprised? Yeah, I was,” said Mitchell. “I mean, I’m glad he’s gone into coaching. I asked him why he was hangin’ ’em up after another 100-tackle season. He was coming off an injury but he recovered and was playing great.

“But he literally could not wipe the smile off his face when was talking about coaching.

“Just a down-to-earth guy. Whatever he’s doing, he’s loving doing it.

“As a player, I’m glad he’s not in the league anymore. It was always hell playing against him.

“I’m glad he’s into coaching because he’s passionate about it.

“And I’m glad he’s on our side now.”