Training Camp Update – Aug 31

I took in Wednesday’s afternoon practice, the final practice of two-a-days.  The most noticeable difference from practices the previous week – far fewer walking wounded.  Late last week there were probably twenty or more injured and banged up players.  Certainly you don’t win many position battles when you’re sidelined by an injury.  That thinking may have helped speed up some of the healing.  

One freshman who was turning heads is DT Matt Nesbitt.  He was doing that in the early days of camp, missed the better part of a week but is picking right up where he left off.  I think we will be seeing him in game action before the season gets old. 

Another young defensive lineman who is making positive impressions is NT Hunter Bowman.  At 6’8″ he is our biggest recruit.  He is a hard worker who reported to camp at a slimmed down 300 lbs.  My impression was that while Bowman would be given a shot on defense he would end up at OT.  That apparently won’t be the case.  He may not play immediately but Bowman has what it takes to be an outstanding DL.

The top catch of the day was a beauty by Dave Honig.  It was a turning, twisting grab around a defender.  Cornerback Eric Parris walked off with “the wood” – a piece of 2×4 given to that practice’s top playmaker on D.

Most of the veteran starters who sat out of the ConU game were back in pads and practicing yesterday.  It’s becoming easier to make out who is working with the first team and who will be a part of the scout team.  Right now I think there is probably a group in the middle who are still battling for positions on the dress roster. 

To me it looks like the defence will have a very familiar look.  I expect the DBs & SAM will be unchanged from last season. (And the season before.)  Up front I expect we’ll see three new faces – Graham Jewson joining Seilis, Thorn and Millar on the D-line, with backers Jake Reinhart and Colin MacDonald.  Jewson is the nephew of Tim Jewson, the 1978 Wildman Trophy winner.

I don’t think there will be any shocks on offense when we see the opening day starters but I’m going to wait until I get back up there Saturday before I speculate. 

From the Mercury,  Replacing an all-star running back who was the centrepiece of the offence can be a daunting task, but Steve Lagace doesn’t seem to be too fazed by it all.  Lagace is expected to get the starting assignment Monday when the Guelph Gryphons host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in their OUA football season opener at Alumni Stadium.  Full story here.

Also, in another story focusing on offense, When the Guelph Gryphons open their OUA football league regular season Monday against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Guelph native Cody O’Neill should be the first Gryph to touch the ball on their offensive plays.  As expected, O’Neill has kept hold of the starting centre’s position with the squad.

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