2015 is RB Johnny Augustine’s time to shine

Running back Johnny Augustine

Running back Johnny Augustine

I love the conclusion to this recent story in the Guelph Mercury – Running back Augustine ready for a bigger role with Gryphons. Particularly the quote from Augustine :

A trimmed-down Augustine reported to the start of training camp last week. The 5-foot-10 back had put on a few pounds and was said to be up to about 240 pounds, but he had cut that back to 210 for the start of camp.

“It’s not just for me personally, it’s for the team,” Augustine said. “Everything I do, me training hard and me eating the way (I do), people might think it’s for me and yes it’s a bonus, but it’s for the team. There’s a reason why I do it and it’s for all of these guys because they’re my brothers — the O line, the whole offence, the whole defence. They’re family.”

Back in January I had speculated about Augustine possibly shifting to fullback based on how much he had reportedly bulked up. I was completely wrong. The weight gain & loss is part of a very calculated process involving nutrition and training for Augustine. You get a sense of that even in his somewhat comedic interview with “Rob & Lob” in the video below.

To use the language of the video … back in the Winter we saw “bulking Johnny”. At training camp we’re seeing “cut-down Johnny”.

Augustine is stronger, lighter and faster than last season. With the graduation of Rob Farquharason, Augustine will have the opportunity to be the man. The Gryphons need him to step up and fill that void. He’s done it before for short periods of time – he rushed for more than 100 yards in his OUA debut two years ago. I believe he went over the century mark twice as a freshman while filling in for Farq. But his numbers weren’t impressive in a back-up role last season.

That’s where stronger, lighter, faster comes in. Randy Dimitroff watched Monday’s training camp practice and told me Johnny looked great. He has regained that quick first step and burst he lacked last season when he came into camp a little heavier and a little slower.

The Gryphon backfield isn’t all that deep or experienced. No back other than Augustine has started an OUA game or rushed for 100 yards in a game. Mason Swift did not return this season. Rob Carnegie plays more of a fullback role. In Brandon Gordon and Daniel Palmer-Salmon, Guelph has a couple of smaller but very quick backs. Gordon is fast and tough. Palmer-Salmon is fast and shifty.

Of the freshman, Kyle Sinden was effective in the action he saw in the opener at Manitoba [9.3 ypc] and Aaron Perez added 16 yards on 4 carries but neither is on the dress roster at this point. Freshman Mack Jones, from whom a lot was expected, has been limited by an injury and may be a couple of weeks away from playing.

Johnny Augustine with mentor Doug Pflug,  a previous Gryphon tailback himself

Johnny Augustine with mentor Doug Pflug, a previous Gryphon tailback himself

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