Catching up – Part 3 – Dec 28/15

It is the same every year. When the season is over, I always seem to have a hard time keeping my nose to the grindstone and punching out more articles for this blog. It’s not that I intend to go silent for a prolonged period. I think it is more the lack of a deadline that makes it easy to put off the blogging until tomorrow.

Another factor … I often tweet about a subject, then neglect to write anything more detailed for the blog. Afterwords thinking I’ve shared something on the blog that I have merely tweeted about, forgetting that 80% of the readers here may never see what I tweeted. The fact is, I have fewer than 250 followers on Twitter. Follow me @petergryphon because there will always be some news that never makes it to the blog in a timely manner.

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Some of the stories that never made it onto this blog in the past 6 weeks …

Photo: Gryphons.ca

Photo: Gryphons.ca

1)  4 Gryphons Named to CIS All Canadian teams 

First off, congratulations to John Rush, Nick Parisotto, Gabriel Ferraro & Jacob Scarfone. This is honour that few ever receive. Be proud of your accomplishments! Second, it says something about the talent on the Gryphon roster that we had four selections. There were two last year [Newton & Nieuwesteeg] and just one in 2013 [Thorn]. I think you would have to go back to the 1990s to find a year where Guelph might have had as many selected. Finally, all of the Guelph selectees, with the exception of Rush, are underclassmen. Parisotto & Ferraro have three years of eligibility remaining and Scarfone two. 2014 selectees Newton & Nieuwesteeg also have eligibility remaining.

The stories from Gryphons.ca – Total of Four Gryphons Recognized as CIS All-Canadians and OUA.ca – 17 OUA standouts selected to CIS All Canadian teams.

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2) John Rush named CIS Presidents’ Trophy Winner – Canada’s Top Defensive Player

Sun Life Financial All Canadian Banquet – CIS Major Awards

Rush is the first Guelph player to receive the Presidents’ Trophy.

In his fifth and final CIS campaign, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker was nothing short of sensational for the Gryphons, who captured their first Yates Cup title since 1996. The three-time team captain was named MVP of the OUA final following a monstrous 12-tackle, three-sack performance. In the eight-game regular season, Rush led the country with 60 tackles – 20 more than any of his teammates – while also contributing 8.5 tackles for losses, three sacks, two interceptions, a pair of pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

The Niagara Falls, Ont., native is the unquestioned leader both on and off the field for a Gryphon defence which ranked in the CIS Top 10 in almost every major category this season, including fourth in interceptions and sacks, seventh against the run and in points allowed, and eighth in total yards allowed.

Rush first burst onto the scene at U of G as a highly-touted prospect out of the Niagara region. After impressing in his 2011 rookie season as a 17-year-old, he was named an OUA all-star in his second year after starting seven games at middle linebacker and recording 41 tackles. Unfortunately, his 2013 season was cut short after blowing out his knee in practice but he was able to return in time for the 2014 campaign, in which he played in every game.

“People see the success that John has had on the field this season, but many are unaware of the incredible amount of adversity he has overcome off of the field,” said Gryphons head coach Stu Lang. “A few years ago, John suffered a freak injury to his knee in practice that derailed his career. He worked incredibly hard during recovery to make it back onto the football field, and there is not a more deserving guy to receive this prestigious award.”

There is a longer, more detailed story at Gryphons.ca – John Rush Recieves National Honour as CIS Presidents’ Trophy Winner and from the St. Catharines Standard – Rush is the best of the best.

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3) On November 30 @jdunk12 tweeted out the news that Award winning #CIS LB John Rush signs with the #Bombers. That was a mere four days after Rush had won the CIS Presidents’ Trophy. From my perspective, the more interesting issue with respect to timing from Dunk’s story on Sportsnet.ca

Rush was added to Winnipeg’s negotiation list on Nov. 15, which gave the Bombers exclusive negotiating rights with the Canadian linebacker.

Bomber logoA quick reminder … the Yates Cup was played on November 14. So, I think it’s fair to conclude his 12 tackle, 3 sack, MVP performance against Western is what sealed the deal in the mind of the Winnipeg brain trust. If I’m not mistaken, Kyle Walters has previously signed or drafted two OUA MVP-type LBs in John Surla (2012) and Aram Eisho (2014). Neither was able to make the roster. One reason I’ve always felt Rush had a better chance at the CFL – he is faster. Rush has always run a sub-5.0 second 40 compared to 5.16 and 5.10 for the others.

Also from Dunk …

If Rush had been eligible for the 2015 CFL Draft he would certainly have been picked and viewed as one of the top linebackers available. As one CFL personnel man put it, “Rush is like a free draft pick.”

 

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