Training Camp 2011 – 4 days in

I caught the tail-end of the Tuesday afternoon practice.  The draft notes I wrote up were lost in the process of removing several viruses which disabled my computing capabilites for 24 hours.  But now having taken in almost the entire Thurs. p.m. practice I’ve got lots to share.

Chief amongst the good news is the progress of the offensive line.  I heard from a couple of sources that the O-Line’s play has been very encouraging.  They had an outstanding practice Thursday morning.  Fifth year OL Matt Richardson has stepped up to fill a vital leadership role.  Having shed 30 lbs Lucas Meschino is in the best shape of his Gryphon career.  Jake Piotrowski has been outstanding – he is playing like a future allstar.  Freshmen Dave Tessier, Matt Toppan & Matt Nesbitt are working on the offensive side of the line – each was considered a two-way prospect.  It appears Vladimir Vesovic will compete for a spot at guard rather than tackle.  Taylor Ross, our big Swedish-Australian recruit from Alberta, has a lot to learn having only played two seasons of football but he is picking things up quickly. Nick Woehl wasn’t participating in drills this afternoon – not sure the issue.

I saw Steve Lagace rip off a couple of nice runs … heard both he and  Cory Davidson have been impressive running the ball.  Rob Farquarson has been temporarily sidelined with an arm injury.  I have seen all of the QBs throwing the ball at least a few times but not enough to make any judgements.  But one thing that was obvious is that Jazz Lindsey could be a dangerous threat in the open field when running the ball.  Older brother Saxon Lindsey also looks impressive as does Jedd Gardner.  Seeing the two of them back together to return kicks should scare some of our opponents.  Another receiver who caught my eye was Aaron Haid.  He is fast and athletic – I wasn’t surprised when I found out he ran the fastest 40 in pre-camp testing – 4.40 seconds.  Haid hasn’t seen a lot of playing time in his first two seasons because of various injury woes … lets hope he stays healthy for the full season. 

Another freshmen who all observers seem to agree is a legit CIS talent is Alex Charette.  He may have dropped a couple of easy passes on the opening day of camp but he seems to have put any “jitters” behind him.  A couple of our veteran DBs were singing his praises.  The team’s veterans in general seem to be impressed by the talent in this recruiting class.  On the defensive side I have heard the names of John Rush, Cam Walker and Jordan Thompson praised both Tues & Thurs.  Sticking with freshmen, it seems RB/DB recruits Keaton Spratt and Chris  Mike Ullerick have gone different directions – Spratt is on D & Ullerick is carrying the ball.

Beyond the freshmen there are several other new faces at camp.  One is a transfer from another OUA program.  Another has transferred from a non-football school in the OUA in order to play – apparently he missed the sport too much.  A couple of enrolled Guelph students are part of camp – one is a former recruit returning to the team and the other is a big body from the track & field program.

Still in school but not playing this season is Hunter Principi, one of last year’s top recruits.  Pat Janik is at training camp but he is high above the field operating a video camera rather than on it.

Correction:  Jarryd Baines is playing SAM linebacker as he did in 2010 and Brian Dunjko is once again a defensive back.  I mixed them up in my pre-camp assessments.  Baines has been sidelined the past two days but that doesn’t stop him from encouraging his defensive mates or talking trash to WRs.

Omission:  Guelph native Eric Hickingbottom is in camp and competing at the cornerback position.  I missed him in my review of the DBs.

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One Response to Training Camp 2011 – 4 days in

  1. DSquared says:

    I would expect most teams to try and limit Gardner’s production on kick returns so having a dual threat is a bonus for Guelph.

    Good preliminary write up. The preseason game against Concordia will show the coaches a lot.

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