Another day, another incredible announcement!
The Gryphon football program released the names of 14 players who will be this year’s offensive recruits. And what an outstanding class it is. There are some great playmakers and a ton of speed in this group.
Johnny Augustine – RB – 5’10 195 – Notre Dame College [Welland, ON]
Bryson Dobush – RB – 6′ 190 – Bev Facey Composite HS [Sherwood Park, AB]
Mason Swift – RB – 6′ 215 – Mt Douglas [Victoria, BC]
Eric Denis – OL – 6’3″ 290 – Notre Dame College [Welland, ON]
Tyler Iveson – OL – 6’4″ 270 – Forest Heights [Kitchener, ON]
Alec Reid – QB – 6’5″ 220 – Adam Scott CVI [Ennismore, ON]
Lucas Spagnuolo – QB/Athlete – Grimsby HS [Grimsby, ON] **UBC transfer
Curtis D’Hollander – Rec – 6’1″ 176 – Catholic Central HS [London, ON]
Johnny Franklin – Rec – 5’11″ 175 – West Vancouver SS [West Vancouver, BC]
Darren Ivey – Rec – 5’9″ 160 – St Thomas More [Hamilton, ON]
Sean McGonigal – Rec – 6’4″ 180 – Superior Heights [Sault Ste Marie, ON]
Derek Pisani – Athlete/RB – 6’1″ 195 – Huron Heights SS [Newmarket, ON]
Thomas Stawiarski – Rec – 5’11″ 195 – Bishop Tonnos CSS [Ancaster, ON]
Jacob Scarfone – P/K & Rec – 6’1″ 185lbs – St Thomas Aquinas [London, ON]
Check out Top Prospects Canada’s rankings of the country’s top RBs and you will see that Guelph has commitments from 3 of the top 5 including the #1 overall RB in Canada – Mason Swift. Any one of Swift, Johnny Augustine or Bryson Dobush are worthy of being headline recruits. Then I watch Derek Pisani’s highlights … Wow! But you will know if you have read this blog regularly that I am all in favour of using two running backs in the backfield, at both the tailback and H-back position. We have had some great plays from receivers playing H-back the past two years [just think about the huge TD catches Michael Fortino made] but a second running threat could help the rush game big time. Of course, I’m all in favour of seeing the QB carry the ball more too.
Guelph has been lucky in recent years that we have had very durable RBs – Nick FitzGibbon & Rob Farquharson – who have not had any serious injuries. McMaster had to play 8 or 9 different RBs in 2012 because of injuries. If that had happened to Guelph the Gryphons would have been sunk because we didn’t have that many RBs on our entire roster. And Farquharson is a physical runner who picks up most of his yards running inside zone plays. If we have a #2 tailback who can contribute even a few series a game, it will keep Farquharson fresh in each game and over what is hopefully an 11 or 12 game season.
The speedsters and playmakers aren’t all RBs. Those are the best descriptors for many of the receivers in this group as well as QB/Athlete Lucas Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo spent his freshman season at UBC where he dressed and played in all Thunderbird games. Too good an athlete not to get on the field UBC used him as a slotback and Wildcat QB. Spagnuolo finished as the team’s third leading rusher with 210 yards on just 24 carries, an average of 8.8 ypc. He also caught three passes and returned 7 kick-offs and 8 punts.
With a great and large group of freshmen OLs already on the roster it isn’t really shocking that the Gryphons only take two. But there is still room to add another if one of the province’s top OT prospects should decide to commit. Either way we have a good young O-line going forward.
For the press release on the offensive recruits go to gryphons.ca . There are brief profiles for each of the 14 recruits.