Sunday was the day that CFL teams had to make their roster cuts to be at the 46-man limit. With four Gryphons holding CFL management/coaching positions and six others competing for roster spots it is an interesting day. The news looks to be pretty good for most of the former Gryphons.
CFL veterans, Rob Maver and Ryan Bomben, look like they will head into the season with starting positions with the Stamps and Alouettes. No surprises there. Maver has already earned CFL All Star honours as a punter while Als’ GM Jim Popp touted Bomben as a starter on the offensive line prior to training camp.
Rookie Jake Reinhart has earned the long snapper’s job with the Toronto Argonauts. A 2008 recruit, and a 2012 graduate with a Geography degree, Reinhart has put in a lot of work to get to this point. Reinhart came to Guelph as a quarterback and linebacker recruit. He spent three years with the Gryphons, primarily as a special teams player, before starting at linebacker. Reinhart was the Special Teams Pl-o-Y in 2010, the Defensive Pl-o-Y in 2011 and a multi-year team captain.
Reinhart didn’t take up long snapping until late in his Guelph career. If you’ve read this you’ll know the idea came from Coach Cluff as a means to further his chances of a CFL career. I fully expect Reinhart will have an impact beyond just snapping the ball. I won’t be at all surprised if he also plays on kick-off coverage, kick and punt return units. You can view Reinhart’s Argo’s profile here.
In Montreal, two Gryphon rookies remain hopeful of playing for the Alouettes. Jake Piotrowski has been placed on the Alouettes’ practice roster. Piotrowski was the club’s 5th round pick in the 2013 CFL draft. In 2014 the Alouettes invested a 3rd round draft pick in defensive tackle Jeff Finley making him the highest selected Gryphon since Rob Maver in 2009. Finley suffered an injury a week into training camp and has been placed on the Als 6-game Injured List. View Montreal’s complete roster here. Both Piotrowski and Finley have CIS eligibility remaining and could return to Guelph in 2014 if they don’t play in a regular season game with the Alouettes. It will be interesting to see what happens with Finley when he comes off the injured list in early August.
The situation for Cam Thorn with the BC Lions isn’t quite as clear to me at this moment. We do know that his name wasn’t on the list of the Lions’ roster cuts. But the Lions have not, so far as I can see, reported who is on their 46-man roster versus their practice roster, injured or suspended lists. Thorn was a 6th round pick of the Lions in the 2013 CFL draft.
Update: The BC Lions roster is now posted here. Thorn is on the practice roster but as Coach MacDonald points out in his comment below Cam is in a good position to be moved to the 46-man roster soon. He is the only Canadian O-Lineman on the PR.
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This should be a year for Gryphons fans to take a growing interest in the CFL. With Kyle Walters, Mike O’Shea and Pat Tracey “running” the Blue Bombers and Chris Rossetti in his first year as the Argos’ Director of Player Personnel, plus potentially as many as six other Gryphons “playing” in the league, it will be interesting.
Speaking of “growing interest in the CFL”, check out the 55 Yard Line blog for a story on what makes Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King’s plan to do a “Canada Week” at his TheMMQB.com football site so intriguing.