Saving the best for last you might wonder. Our defensive backs certainly are a strong group but that’s just a coincidence. With fifteen returning DBs, not including the pair I listed at SAM LB, its a time consuming task I put off as long as possible.It’s also nearly impossible for me to slot nine or ten of the players into a single specific back-up position. I would also be surprised if new DBs coach Marcello Simmons doesn’t look at several players in new positions.
What is certain is that all five of last year’s starters are returning as well as all the top back-ups. Guelph plays as complicated coverage schemes as any team in the OUA. With so many veteran players entering their second season in DC MacNeill’s schemes this unit should be even better than last year when we had three OUA Allstars and the Gryphons were #2 in the OUA versus the pass. And with the loss of the team’s #1 & #3 tacklers from the LB corps the #2, 4 & 5 tacklers, all DBs, will need to be solid again. [Duncan 34solo+12assists, Savoie 22 +14 & Baines 17+15]
I didn’t actually count the number of DBs dressed in each game but it’s a lot. At least 10 I would say. All of the backups and several of the starters see regular duty on special teams, particularly punt and kick-off coverage. Eleven different DBs recorded tackles in 2010.
James Savoie (5’9″ 190, St Michael’s/Niagara Spears) – entering his 5th year. Has started since middle of his freshman season. Two-time All Cdn. Invited to the CFL E-camp. Fourth on the team in tackles in 2010, 2nd in 2008.
Sebastian Howard (6′ 185, St Michael’s/Niagara Spears) -entering his 5th year. Started since his freshman season at corner. Gryphon Rookie-of-Yr in 2007.
Mark Durigon (5’10” 190, Guelph John F Ross) – entering his 4th season of eligibility. Played as a freshman at Laurier. Has started at corner for the Gryphons since arriving two seasons ago. OUA Allstar at corner in 2010. Led the OUA in Pass Break-ups (9) and tied for 2nd in INTs (5).
Jordan Duncan (6’3″ 198, Grimsby Blessed Trinity/Niagara Spears) – entering his 4th season. Started as a freshman. OUA Allstar at Safety in 2010. Second on the team in tackles, tied for 2nd in OUA with 5 INTs. Played in the 2011 East-West Bowl.
Jarryd Baines (5’10” 190, Ottawa St Patrick’s) – entering his 4th season. Two year starter. Fourth on the team in tackles in 2010.
Zach Androschuck (6′ 200, Sarnia St Christopher’s) – entering his 3rd season of eligibility. Sees plenty of special forces action and as one of the top reserves. 20 solo tackles and 7 assists.
Matt Suzuki (5’10” 170, Mississauga Lorne Park) – entering his 3rd season. Dressed throughout 2010, started in the Mac game.
Winston Green (5’10” 180, Ottawa St Patrick’s) – entering his second season as a Gryphon. Transferred from the Univ of Ottawa. Dressed throughout 2010, saw special forces action.
Kyle Mataya (6’1″ 205, Welland Notre Dame/Niagara Spears) -entering his third season. A preseason injury cost him most of his freshman season.
Taylor Roberts (5’11” 200, Sudbury St Charles’) – entering his 2nd season. Did not dress as a freshman. Got most of the reps at Saftey in Red & Black scrimmage.
Mackenzie McLaughlin (5’10” 190, Our Lady of Lourdes/Guelph Bears) – entering his 3rd season.
Eric Parris (5’11” 175, Mississauga Mt Carmel) – entering his 2nd season.
Mike Bracken (5’10” 185, Kingston Frontenac) – entering his 2nd season.
Brett Hamilton (6’1″ 195, Lively/Sudbury Gladiators) – entering his 2nd season.
Kellen Walsh (6’2″ 195, Ottawa St Joseph’s) – entering his third season of eligibility. Switched from WR in the spring.
New recruits: Dave Rossetti, Graham Smyth, Iain Hutchison, Brain Schenck, Kevin Griffiths, Mac Myers