He was cut by a team that went 4-14, so expectations weren’t too high when the Montreal Alouettes signed Jonathan Crompton to their practice roster after he was cut from the Edmonton Eskimos during pre-season.
However, you could tell that the Alouettes may just have known what they had in the former University of Tennessee quarterback. First, he was the one who would back-up Alex Brink when the team decided to go in a new direction. Not Tanner Marsh and not Troy Smith who ended up being added to the 6-game injured list.
Second, before he had even played in his first game action, the Alouettes website wrote about him. Now team websites are going to focus on certain players. The new backup quarterback is not usually the target, especially this early in the season when most story lines aren’t drawn out yet.
There were rumblings, even before Brink played the entire game in Saskatchewan, that the team was considering a two quarterback system. And head coach Tom Higgins said as much going into the Winnipeg game, saying that Brink had such a good start that he didn’t want to switch.
Then, with Brink struggling against the Blue Bombers, Higgins turned to Crompton who was the starting quarterback at Tennessee after Erik Ainge, and was the No. 3 QB in his high school recruiting class behind just Mark Sanchez and Ryan Perrilloux.
And Crompton moved the ball. He was agile in the pocket and made some good throws as he tried to lead the Alouettes to the win. His performance earned himself the start against Ottawa and he led the team to their second win of the season in his first professional start.
Crompton has bounced around in his football life, getting drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round in 2010 but did not make the team and was added to the practice squad. He then joined the practice squads of the New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins but never saw any regular season action.
He joined the Eskimos in May, 2013 and played in relief and put up some pretty solid numbers in that time. Crompton, whose hair has grown long, has earned nicknames from teammates and on social media for his flow. But there is a story for that as well. Crompton is growing his hair for Locks for Love and will shave it off and donate it to the charity.
For now, if the 27 year old continues to give the Alouettes chances to win, he may be able to run away with the job. The Alouettes have struggled to find a replacement to Anthony Calvillo even dating back to last season. After a group that included Josh Neiswander, Marsh, Smith, Brink and now Crompton, the Alouettes could use some stability at the position.
The Alouettes are just hoping for someone to take it and run with it. The others before him haven’t been able to do it. Crompton is the next one with that opportunity and I feel he may just be the right one for the job.