13 OUA All Stars & 2 All Canadian selections

Guelph's Special Teams All Stars Coach Hank Ilesic, Daniel Ferraro, Fraser Speakman, Ryan Nieuwesteeg, Coach Bill Brown

Guelph’s Special Teams All Stars
Coach Hank Ilesic, Daniel Ferraro, Fraser Speakman, Ryan Nieuwesteeg, Coach Bill Brown

Check out the list below of the Gryphons named 2014 OUA ALL-STARS. The full story from OUA.ca

FIRST-TEAM OFFENCE

Centre: Matthew Nesbitt – Guelph
Offensive Tackle: Matthew Toppan – Guelph
Kick Returner: Ryan Nieuwesteeg – Guelph

FIRST-TEAM DEFENCE

Defensive End: Cameron Walker – Guelph
Linebacker: Curtis Newton – Guelph
Free Safety: Tristan Doughlin – Guelph
Rush/Cover: Fraser Speakman – Guelph

SECOND-TEAM OFFENCE

Guard: Cam Wilhelm – Guelph
Inside Receiver: Alex Charette – Guelph
Wide Receiver: A’Dre Fraser – Guelph
Running Back: Rob Farquharson – Guelph
Place Kicker: Daniel Ferraro – Guelph

SECOND-TEAM DEFENCE

Cornerback: Colin Mandich – Guelph

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My thoughts: The sheer number of All Stars, thirteen, is amazing. To put that in perspective, Guelph had eight All Stars in 2010, just two in 2011, eight in 2012 and six in 2013. Thirteen is a reflection of the level of talent the Gryphons have recruited since 2011. Top prospects are staying in the program, developing physically and skill-wise, and producing on the field. That also says a lot about the work of this coaching staff.

Only one of the 11 all stars [Rob Farquharson] has used all five years of his eligibility. Walker, Charette and Ferraro may have some CFL opportunities this spring but, regardless of what may or may not happen for them, things look bright going forward with a minimum of 9 or 10 all stars returning. Not to mention there were some outstanding Gryphon players who didn’t get selected – John Rush, Iain Hutchison, Jazz Lindsey, Kyle Fraser to name a few.

One area that continues to be a bright spot is special teams. This the fourth year in a row a Gryphon has been selected at the Rush/Cover position – Bryan Dunjko, Cam Walker, Andrew Graham & Fraser Speakman. This is the third year in a row a Gryphon has been selected as a returner – A’dre Fraser [2x] & Ryan Nieuwesteeg. And it’s great to add an all star kicker to the group. In my opinion Daniel Ferraro had an All Canadian-type of season as a kicker but he lost out to 5th-year player who had a great career if not as strong a season.

It’s also great to see three offensive linemen selected. This is the third consecutive year that a Gryphon OL has been selected, but Matt Richardson, Cam Thorn & Jake Piotrowski were each in their final seasons. This year’s selections – Matt Nesbitt, Matt Toppan & Cam Wilhelm should all be back.

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CIS FOOTBALL ALL CANADIANSrelated story

SECOND TEAM

Defense

LB – Curtis Newton – Guelph – 3 – London, Ont. – Sociology

Special Teams

RET – Ryan Nieuwesteeg – Guelph – 3 – Niagara Falls, Ont. – Sociology

My Thoughts: What can I say? These young men had great seasons. Nieuwesteeg’s numbers made his selection a no-brainer. In fact, I’m a little surprised he wasn’t named to the first team. Newton had excellent numbers but I really think that it was opposing coaches looking at film who recognized his excellence and elevated him to 1st team OUA and 2nd team All Canadian honours, because he really hadn’t received the credit he was due prior to this.

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