No. But CFL training camps are getting underway this week.
Maybe there are exceptions, but from what I’ve seen, CFL draft picks, other CFL rookies and QBs are reporting today and begin practicing tomorrow – May 25. After 3-day “rookie camps”, CFL veterans report for physicals on May 28 and full training camp practices commence on May 29. Each CFL team plays 2 exhibition games between June 8 and June 18. The regular season kicks off on June 23.
It is a busy year for former Gryphons. Eight Guelph grads are returning veterans looking to hold on to their places on CFL rosters – Maver, Bomben, Thorn, Piotrowski, Finley, Reinhart, Walker and Charette. Two more former Gryphons – John Rush and Daniel MacDonald – were added to CFL neg lists and signed by those teams in the off-season.
Then, you have five more 2016 CFL draft picks – Curtis Newton, A’dre Fraser, Kyle Fraser, Matt Toppan and Ryan Nieuwesteeg. On top of 15 former Gryphons working to ensure their names are on CFL opening day rosters, there are 4 more who are making decisions with CFL teams.
Kyle Walters enters his 3rd year as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager and Mike O’Shea will start his 3rd season as a the Bombers head coach. Curtis Rukavina is the recently named Director of Player Personnel of the Toronto Argonauts while Jarryd Baines enters his first season in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats front office after 2 years in Saskatchewan and a season as an intern in the CFL head office.
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In case you’ve forgotten, there will be a 20th Gryphon in a CFL training camp.
From the Argonauts.ca press release …
The Toronto Argonauts Football Club will welcome Guelph Gryphons’ quarterback James Roberts to their 2016 training camp. Roberts will join the team on the field for the first time during QBs & Rookies Camp tomorrow (Wednesday, May 25) at approximately 2:00 p.m. at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium.
As part of the quarterback internship program, the CFL has assigned each of the nine CFL teams with an underclassmen national quarterback who is ineligible to sign a contract or play in a CFL pre-season game.
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There is another in-depth article of interest to Gryphon fans in The St. Catharines Standard. A few days ago sports writer Bernie Puchalski shared what John Rush is thinking as he prepares for his first CFL training camp – Rush ready for Blue Bombers camp.
“The main goal is to make the team, and in order to do that it kind of takes me back to my first year when I came to Guelph,” the 22-year-old Niagara Falls native said.
“I didn’t know anybody. No one knew who I was, and I had to make a name for myself pretty quickly.”
“I am going to bust my butt and try to prove to the coaches that I should be on the team,” the six foot, 220-pounder said. “One way or another, I’m going to be pretty scrappy when I am there because it’s a business now.”
“Players are getting paid and I am not there to make friends,” he said. “I’m there doing what I love and trying to continue to play football. I am going to do whatever I can to make this team.”
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To be continued …
Prospects for 2016 draft picks
Argos camp in Guelph