Canadas smartest person knows better than to rush back from injury. Peter Dyakowski is easily handling stairs and weighted squats five months after suffering a serious knee injury in the 2013 Grey Cup. Despite his progress following surgery for a torn patellar tendon, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman doesnt expect to be ready for the start of training camp June 1. "Ill be there and active but Im not going to be close to contact," Dyakowski said in an interview. "Im working on jogging the rest of this month and in May Ill be running and getting into football drills. "But with this injury, caution is very important to keep in mind. I want to be back playing better than I did before, thats my goal and motivation here." The six-foot-five, 325-pound Dyakowski has been a solid performer for the Ticats. He was their 2011 nominee for the CFLs top lineman award and the following season claimed East Division and CFLPA all-star honours. And last year, Dyakowski played in his first Grey Cup. But it wasnt necessarily a positive experience as Hamilton not only lost 45-23 to the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders but Dyakowski left the game on a stretcher before halftime due to his injury. "When I woke up that morning, I was about to be a Grey Cup champion," he said. "Just before halftime Im loaded up on my right leg pushing on (Riders defensive tackle) Keith Shologan with everything Ive got and I get hit right in the back of the knee. "Youre supposed to get hurt, it happens to everyone but being carted off the field an unable to walk off was probably one of the most embarrassing, shameful moments of my life. I felt awful." Four days later Dyakowski has surgery. Then the real fun began. "The first couple of months were brutal, I was horizontal for the most part," he said. "Now Im doing several days a week at the Ticats headquarters and a couple days at McMaster because they have an underwater treadmill and its really coming along. "Ive got a bit more time ahead of me than behind but I feel like Im closer to the finish than the start." When Dyakowski returns to Hamiltons lineup, he wont have teammate Marwan Hage to lean on. The 10-year veteran centre retired this week, four months after being selected by Ottawa in the CFL expansion draft. "Its going to be different because aside from a couple times where one of us was injured, Ive played my entire seven years here next to Marwan," Dyakowski said. "Over the years I learned a lot from him so Ill be a better player for it even though hes gone." But the fun-loving 29-year-old Vancouver native is more than just muscle and brawn. In 2012, Dyakowski won CBCs "Canadas Smartest Person" show, beating out contestants in six categories of intelligence: musical, physical, social, logical, visual and linguistic. "Canadas Smartest Person" returns this year as a weekly series and Dyakowski says hes living proof anyone can win. "In some ways I personified that whole idea," said Dyakowski, who wont be defending his title on the show. "It was vindication, of sorts, that we football players arent all that dumb." Then again, Dyakowski isnt a typical jock. He attended LSU, a traditional NCAA football powerhouse, on an athletic scholarship while majoring in mechanical engineering. In his third year Dyakowski had to switch to history and geography because football commitments prevented him from booking engineering labs, which were required for third- and fourth-year classes. "I started out with high aspirations, I was going to build bridges and machines," he said. "But football, especially in the SEC, is a year-round, full-time job and we didnt really have any time after noon to book classes and the engineering labs are only given in the afternoon. "So I was either looking at puttering around for my five years there taking courses I didnt need or biting the bullet and changing my major so I changed to history and geography. I shouldve stayed in hard science in hindsight but I love history and figured I might as well pick something I love." Dyakowskis success on "Canadas Smartest Person," is further proof in football circles that offensive linemen are the most cerebral players. "I went just for fun," he said. "I had a friend say, You should try out for this show, Canadas Smartest Person, and I thought, Its going to be embarrassing but why not? "When I won it, it was a total surprise." Dyakowski isnt done testing his wits on television. He was recently a contestant on "Jeopardy." "(Host Alex Trebek) is a Ticats fan so it was kind of cool," Dyakowski said. "One of the really neat things was at the start when they say, This is Jeopardy, actually seeing the guy (announcer Johnny Gilbert) doing it live because I always thought it was a recording. "Its very reassuring, very comforting to hear this familiar voice and see this kind, grandfatherly type figure saying it." So how did Dyakowski fare? "Im contractually obligated to maintain strict silence officially," said Dyakowski, who will appear on the show in June. "However, I will say it was a lot of fun and Ill have many stories when the time is right. "Unfortunately, there were no categories about Tim Hortons pastries. I think the other contestants wouldve cried foul if those had come up." Possessing a superior intellect has allowed Dyakowski to take a unique approach to dealing with trash talk on the football field. "I try to maintain a certain level of composure and have fun with that," he said. 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