[This post began as an answer to a question in the comments section regarding the future of fifth year players Kevin Campbell, David Honig, Matt Richardson and Mark Durigon. They each have eligibility remaining.]
I imagine they would all like to play one more season. But in some cases it just doesn’t make sense to come back for a sixth year. I’ve heard that Matt Rossetti wrestled with that option last year – return to Guelph for a final year of football (his 6th) or start Law School? I think its probably a 50/50 proposition. We may get a couple of them back but I can’t tell you which ones. A team can never have too much experience.
At the receiver positions we are pretty deep in talent and not too badly off for experience even if we lose Gardner, Campbell and Honig. Campbell was actually the H-back in the new offense, a combination of fullback, wingback and tight end. I think you’ll see freshman Mike Ullerick and some of the incoming running back recruits compete for that spot in 2012. Honig missed some time due to injuries in 2011 so there were already receivers sharing some of his snaps. We’ll have Dimitroff, Lindsey, Trivieri & Haid plus several others who have seen some action. There is plenty of young talent ready for an opportunity with Charette, Boutilier, Ingram, Mohr, Smuck, Walker & others. And there will be recruits brought in who specifically suit the new offense.
The O-line situation is a little different. Richardson would still be our only really experienced offensive lineman with about 30 starts. Next is Piotrowski with 14 starts, O’Neill with 12, Nesbitt with 3. I’ve heard Avery Parle who started a couple of games in 2011 won’t be back. It will be necessary to dress several young players on the O-line again next season.
In the defensive backfield every one of our 2011 starters was a fourth or fifth year player. And not just the starting five but 7 of the 9 DBs who dressed on a regular basis. Top back-ups Green and Androschuck are the other two 4th year guys. Green, who started two games, was the top back-up at both corner positions. But he ranks among the top players on the team in academics and has plenty of academic and employment options. He likely won’t be around for a fifth year. Duncan will almost certainly have an opportunity to make a CFL roster in 2012. So it would be a big bonus to have Mark Durigon back for a fourth season as a starter at corner. James Savoie and Sebastian Howard had been starters in the Guelph secondary since 2007, so 2012 will bring an opportunity for some new faces, perhaps as many as 4 or 5 new players dressing.
2011 defensive backfield – dress roster
James Savoie 5th yr started since 2007
Sebastian Howard 5th yr started since 2007
Mark Durigon 5th yr played at WLU 2007, started at Guelph since 2009
Jordan Duncan 4th yr started since 2008
Bryan Dunjko 4th yr started since 2009
Zach Androschuk 4th yr
Winston Green 4th yr
Iian Hutchison freshman Superior Heights SS
Keaton Spratt freshman Lakeshore CSS
In addition to the four 4th year DBs there were ten other 4th year students (not all are 4th year in terms of eligibility) on our 2011 dress roster – Jarryd Baines, Tim Berta, Michael Fortino, Aaron Haid, Saxon Lindsey, Colin MacDonald, Mike Millar, Jake Reinhart, Chris Rossetti & Curtis Rukavina. [This group includes four of the LBs who dress every game, so thats another position group that needs to be addressed in this years recruiting class.] Gryphon fans need to hope that most of these ten are back in 2012.