Gryphon recruiters continue to receive Christmas gifts, in the form of good news from top recruits, in advance of the “recruiting black-out period”. Football is the only CIS sport with such a restriction and it runs from December 23rd to January 2nd inclusively.
This past week big Niagara offensive lineman Greg Corfield [6’3″ 315, St Paul’s] and local star athlete Noel Amaya [6’1″ 200, Lourdes] committed to play their CIS football at the University of Guelph. And just today, BCFC O-lineman Andrew Chichka has signed an LOI with Guelph.
The 22-year-old Chichka is a graduate of Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary School in Maple Ridge, BC. He has played the past four years for the Langley Rams. With that experience, good size [6’4″ 295] and a lot of toughness Chichka looks like someone who can compete for playing time immediately. His 2014 video highlights seem to confirm that. I love his physicalness. He always finishes his blocks, frequently putting his opponents on their backs. He has the athleticism and speed to block in the second level. And he hustles up field on every play.
The other O-Line commit of the week, Corfield, has great potential. He may benefit from a year on the scout team to develop that potential but he has a high ceiling. Corfield showed off his potential at the OUA’s Top Prospects Combine in Niagara Falls the other night. The 315-pounder recorded the longest broad jump and the greatest vertical jump of any OL. Those tests are both measures of explosiveness. A lot of OUA recruiters were disappointed to find out he had recently signed with the Gryphons. Corfield played for the St Paul’s Patriots who made it to the Niagara AAA/AAAA championship game and the Niagara Spears of the OVFL. Corfield was a first team Niagara Region All Star. His size, good feet and explosiveness off the line make him a valuable addition.
While the 2015 Gryphon recruiting class has been very heavy on linemen [8 of 11 recruits so far] Guelph coaches received a commitment from possibly the most athletic player in D10 football – Lourdes & Guelph Jr Gryphons receiver/quarterback/kicker Noel Amaya. The fact that Amaya combines elite athleticism with a 6’1″ 200-pound frame makes him special. Look for him to utilize those attributes as a receiver or possibly in a hybrid position like H-back. The idea that he has elite athleticism didn’t start with me. Rather it was an opposing high school coach who called him the best athlete in the game in a preview of the D10 championship last month. Amaya’s Lourdes Crusaders won the game 37-0.
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I love the early focus of this recruiting high quality linemen. In my opinion you can’t have too much depth at the LOS. Just consider the five unexpected losses we had along the D-line during the past off-season. That situation would have been a disaster for most OUA teams and many Gryphons teams of the past. Guelph went 7-1 and back to the Yates Cup because of quality depth. Second, land the “big uglies” and skill players will follow, especially on offense. What top running back or QB prospect doesn’t want to know he will have a quality group of blockers in front of him for years to come?