Former Gryphon star Rob Maver will be participating to his first Grey Cup this Sunday as a member of the Calgary Stampeders. Maver starred for the Gryphons from 2006 thru 2009. He graduated in 2010 with a degree in Political Science & Sociology. He became a first round draft pick of the Stamps, 5th overall, in the CFL Draft that same spring. Maver holds many career and season Gryphon records in almost every punting, kicking and scoring category. When he finished his career at Guelph he was in eighth place on the CIS all-time field goals list with 54. He was kind enough to take time out from his Grey Cup activities to answer some questions for this blog.
1. Your Stampeders have had a fine season [12-6] and made it to the Grey Cup. Congratulations! This was also something of a comeback season for you after missing most of 2011. How do you feel about the 2012 season and reaching the Grey Cup? What were the personal highlights for you?
It’s very exciting to be playing in this game. To be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet, and I don’t think it will until we hit the practise field tomorrow. Really looking forward to the week leading up to it and the game.
This year has been a comeback season for me. Last year stung but it has definitely made me a stronger player, especially mentally. The main thing that I’m happy about is coming back and contributing towards wins with a great group of guys. That is the personal highlight for me.
2012 has been a wild ride for the Stampeders. We dressed over 75 players this year, and only 42 can dress per game. A lot of guys have stepped up or played new roles which is why we were able to win twelve games this year. I do not recall a team that has sustained this amount injuries while still being able to post that type of record. It’s a credit to the organization and the guys in the locker room.
2. How big a transition was it for you to move from being a student-athlete at Guelph to becoming a professional football player? How do you like living in Calgary?
Coach Walters did a great job of preparing me for the CFL. We ran pro style schemes, so that aspect of the transition went smooth. My struggles came with the length of the season. Mentally, I had peaks and valleys my rookie year. Nobody can say they’ve gone through an 18 game season sans stress or with less than ideal games, but I feel this year I developed the mindset where I was able to bring a consistent mindset to work which allowed me to have more fun this year than years past.
As for the city of Calgary, I love it. Very young population with a lot of things to do, and the proximity to the mountains is a bonus. If I wind up staying out here permanently I wouldn’t be upset with that one bit.
2b. Back in July I shared a story on this blog about your second job/potential future career [55 Yard Line blog], how is that working out?
Secondary job, not career. I am still exploring secondary careers.
It has proven to be an excellent offseason job since it as very accommodating of my training schedules. I worked on my own time and was only accountable for my productivity, not hours on the clock.
Midway through the season I had to tell them I would see them once we were done playing. With the travel and irregular hours my productivity was compromised. I’ll be back at work for them come December.
3. I would bet that once you were drafted and made the Stampeders’ roster you never thought you would play another game in Alumni Stadium. What do you think of the announcement that the University of Guelph has reached an agreement with the Hamilton Ticats to play their 2013 season here? Assuming you are familiar with the new training center, the new turf and other improvements in the Stadium, what is your impression?
I think it’s great news. I’ve always thought Alumni stadium is a great venue for football, and I’m excited it will be showcased at the CFL level.
I haven’t been back since the field renovations and I can’t wait to see it in person. In pictures and on television it looked great. It will be exciting to come back and play more football there. One thing that did come to mind is how condensed the seating will be (especially on the hill) to accommodate a CFL crowd. It will be a great atmosphere, especially with Ti-Cat fans.
4. You were part of a great recruiting class in 2006, put together by then-Coach Kyle Walters. You will be the third member of that class to appear in the Grey Cup. [Bomben & FitzGibbon were the others] That group was a part of the great playoff run in 2007 that led to a Yates Cup appearance. How closely do you stay in touch with your former teammates and coaches?
I still keep in touch with a few of the guys from the program. MacDonald, Gardner, Bomben, Dunk and Durigon to name a few. I also still keep in touch with Coach Walters, Coach Brown and Coach Munford via text.
Another really neat thing is that through Facebook, I’m able to stay in touch with the families of the guys that I played with. One of the best things looking back on my time as a Gryphon is how it brought the parents’ families together.
5. How closely have you followed what has been happening with the Gryphons since 2010? What did you think of them going 7-1 and reaching the Yates Cup this season?
Definitely still follow the program. Coach Lang has done a great job of turning the program into one that will be in the running for the Yates and the opportunity to compete out of province every year.
While I was with the program I feel that we had the coaches and horses to go a long way. What we didn’t have was the resources. Coach Lang has been able to generate the necessary resources required to succeed at a national level while assembling a top flight staff and landing great recruits. These are proud times for us Gryphons, both current and former.