SEATTLE -- Joe Steele, the University of Washington's all-time leading rusher, has signed a two-year contract with the Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
The move will reunite Steele with quarterback Warren Moon, a former teammate on Washington's 1978 Rose Bowl squad who won last fall's Grey Cup MVP.
Steele was cut by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the exhibition season last year after being drafted in the fifth round. At the time, he admitted a knee injury during his senior season was still bothering him.
But now, the popular running back says his knee is 'perfect' and he thinks he is 'the athlete I used to be.'
During his four years with the Huskies, he gained 3,091 yards to eclipse Hugh McElhenny's school record and scored 37 touchdowns.
The Eskimos said they have been interested in Steele since he graduated from college. Coach Hugh Campbell said he thinks Steele has the 'size, speed and quickness to be a super back.'
Steele said he wasn't bitter about his failure to get into the NFL.
'I just felt this would be a good situation for me at this time,' he said. 'It's nothing against the NFL. I just think they have a lot to offer up in Canada. It's a different game, a different world, it's getting away from Seattle for a while.
'I like the coaching staff up there and Warren has had lots of success. I talked to him about going up there and he was very encouraging.'