Ex-Trojan, Hokie WR Justin Harper traded to Lions

Former Bandys standout wide receiver Justin Harper will have a new professional football home in 2013.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound wideout was traded on Friday from the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders to the British Columbia (B.C.) Lions.

Harper was sent with the Roughriders' third round pick in 2014 to the Lions in exchange for Lions slotback Geroy Simon.

"Life is all about opportunity," Harper said in an interview with the O-N-E on Sunday. "If you know my story, it's all about getting an opportunity. I'm thankful to the B.C. Lions and this new opportunity. I'm ready to hit the ground running and ready to take full advantage. Hopefully, I'm showing the kids of Catawba County to never give up on your dreams."

In nine CFL games for Saskatchewan last season, Harper caught nine passes for 95 yards.

He still has one year left on his contract, as well as a one-year team option for 2014.

Originally a seventh round draft pick by the NFL's Baltimore Ravens in 2008, Harper spent four seasons as a member of the Ravens before being released before the 2011 NFL season.

Harper played college football at Virginia Tech, recording 1,338 yards and nine touchdowns for the Hokies in 51 career collegiate games.

At Bandys High School, Harper led his team to the state championship game as both a wide receiver and defensive back. He tallied 60 catches, 1,112 yards and 18 touchdowns during that state runner-up season.

Harper will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in late May to report to his new team's training camp.