I’m finally getting back to a post I hoped to finish six days ago. What’s new?
In the interim, CFL Rookie Camps are complete and regular training camps got underway yesterday. There is some good news on that front as the Montreal Alouettes recently added Gryphon DB Tristan Doughlin to their training camp roster as a free agent signee. Best of luck Tristan!
The addition of Douglin, and the fact I forgot to mention Guelph-grad Matt Nesbitt among the ranks of CFL coaches, means there are 21 former Gryphons in CFL training camps this week – 16 battling for positions on playing rosters and 5 in the coaching/management ranks. Below is a photo of Nesbitt, the Argos new Assistant O-Line Coach, in his double-blue gear.
Thinking back to 2008, when I became connected with Gryphon football, I can only remember two CFL players who were Guelph grads – Mike O’Shea & David McCoy. There were no Gryphons selected in the 2008 CFL draft and I don’t recall any former Gryphons in the CFL coaching or management ranks though Thomas Dimitroff Jr had just moved from the New England Patriots front office to take the General Manager’s position with the Atlanta Falcons.
My point? This is almost certainly an all-time high level of involvement for Gryphons in the CFL. [Plus, Dimitroff (Atlanta) and Chris Rossetti (Miami Dolphins) in the NFL.] Training camps have just started, so there will certainly be some who don’t secure CFL jobs this year but I still think it is impressive that so many Gryphons are being given a shot by CFL teams. This program has come a long way.
There are Gryphons in 7 of 9 CFL training camps. The only teams without UofG representation are Saskatchewan and Edmonton.
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Getting back to Rookie Camps … Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun, a parent of two Gryphons, caught up with 2016 RedBlacks draft pick Kyle Fraser-Audit after Day 1 of camp …
Kyle Fraser-Audit arrived in Ottawa late Tuesday afternoon, settled into his temporary bunkhouse at Carleton University and prepared himself mentally for Day 1 of Ottawa Redblacks rookie camp.
It’s a big deal for a big boy — a 6-foot-5, 283-lb., offensive lineman — a sixth-round draft pick from the University of Guelph Gryphons.
“It sank in before I went to bed (Tuesday night). There have been butterflies all day,” said Fraser-Audit following Wednesday afternoon’s workout at TD Place. “But that happens, it’s the next step for me. It got easier at Guelph, but it took time. I’m sure it’s going to be the same here. The plays are more complicated, it’s done at a faster speed, but you learn.
“(When I walked out onto the field), everything looked 10 times bigger than what it did when you’re at university. It’s massive, the scoreboard and thousands of seats, it’s really cool.”
Read the full story here.
There was also some feedback from the Argonauts camp via GuelphToday.com. Specifically, comments from Gryphon participants James Roberts, Curtis Newton and Ryan Nieuwesteeg.
In the Winnipeg media was mention by HC O’Shea that LB John Rush was “nicked up”. I read it as saying he didn’t participate in Day 1 of training camp, leading me to assume, whatever the injury was, it occurred in Rookie Camp. His parents told me he was very upbeat the last time they spoke to him and he expects to play in the Bombers first exhibition game.
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Former Gryphon linebacker Curtis Rukavina, the Argos new Director of Player Personnel, is one of two spokesmen for the Boatmen in the video report below. Keep your eyes peeled for QB James Roberts [red jersey, no #] and Curtis Newton [White jersey #73].
Day 1 photos from Toronto Argonauts camp: click here
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A couple more things.
A pre-training camp story on Kyle Fraser-Audit in his hometown paper, the Welland Tribune – Port Colborne native hopes to make Ottawa RedBlacks roster at first CFL training camp.
Great to see the Argos host a camp for youth football players on Saturday morning. I heard the turnout was around 250 players from Guelph and Cambridge.