2016 Recruiting Breakdown – Offensive Line


The 2015 Yates Cup winning offensive line

The O-Line Recruits

Coulter Woodmansey – OL – 6’5″ 320 – Northern SS [Toronto ON]
Ben Petrie – OL – 6’4″ 265 – Sir John A MacDonald [Waterloo ON]
Nathan Monk – OL – 6’ 270 – Salisbury Prep / Centennial HS [Guelph ON]
Brandon Eddie – OL – 6’3″ 280 – Cardinal Newman CSS [Stoney Creek ON]
Benjamin Favot – OL – 6’2″ 275 – St Benedict’s [Sudbury ON]
Xave Warner – OL – 6”4″ 285 – Canada Prep [Mississauga ON]


The 2016 version of the Gryphon offensive line will look a lot different than the bunch that won the Yates Cup last season. Gone are All Stars Matt Nesbitt and Matt Toppan, and veteran starters Zach Bader-Shamai and Cam Wilhelm. But there isn’t a lot of reason to worry. No less an authority than the leader of last year’s unit, and current Toronto Argos Asst. O-Line Coach, Matt Nesbitt, has said this year’s group will be even better.

The Outlook

This year’s O-Line will not have as much experience as the lines of the recent past. The cupboard is far from bare as the Gryphons have high quality prospects waiting in the wings. While there is lots of talent on hand, there will be some growing pains as several new starters adjust to their new roles.

One person who will be back is Ottawa RedBlack draft pick Kyle Fraser-Audit. The other experienced player will be Andrew Pickett who became a starter as the 2016 season progressed and earned OUA All Star honours. Beyond that, the Gryphons have recruited very well on the O-Line for the past few years. There is a solid group of players ready to step up, led by Jaylan Guthrie, Arran McRae, Daniel UrbshasEric StarczalaColin Jerome and Nikko Morito-Barber.

My Thoughts

Usually having to replace 3 starters is a treacherous situation but in this instance I’m not too worried about the adjustments on the O-Line. Fortunately, the Gryphons have recruited very well on the O-Line since O-Line Coach Mike MacDonald has been on the scene. It will take time to replace the experience but the new group of OLs will be bigger and very talented.

Even without assuming an unusual number of injuries I think there is an opportunity for a couple of members of this recruiting class to dress this season. Mind you, that is not the preferred situation. If it were possible I think you would want to redshirt almost any high school recruit to give him time to adjust to CIS play. O-Line is probably the most difficult position for a new recruit to play effectively as a true freshman.

Recruit Profiles

Recruit Coulter WoodmanseyCoulter Woodmansey – OL – 6’5″ 320 – Northern SS [Toronto ON]

Ranked one of the Top100 players in Canada by Canada Football Chat. Very big, with excellent mobility. Coach MacDonald described him as “a Beast” and that’s exactly what I want in an O-Lineman. Woodmansey played his Summer ball with the Toronto Jr Argonauts.

B PetrieBen Petrie – OL – 6’4″ 265 – Sir John A MacDonald [Waterloo ON]

Luckily for the Gryphons Petrie choose to do a victory lap this past year. He had originally committed to McMaster in 2015. Petrie was named an OVFL All Star this summer. He played both Guard and Centre for the 2016 OVFL Champion Cambridge Lions.

N MonkNathan Monk – OL – 6′ 270 – Salisbury Prep / Centennial HS [Guelph ON]

Monk was a stud at Centre this summer for the Guelph Jr Gryphons. He previously played Summer ball with the Cambridge Lions where he won 2 OVFL Championships and 3 All Star selections. Monk played Guard at Salisbury Prep in Connecticut the past 2 years. As an 11th Grader at Guelph Centennial he was the D10 Lineman of the Year.

Brandon Eddie signs LOI

Brandon Eddie signs LOI

Brandon Eddie – OL – 6’3″ 280 – Cardinal Newman CSS [Stoney Creek ON]

A dominant HS lineman for Hamilton Catholic and GHAC champions Cardinal Newman. Eddie played in two OFSSA Bowls with the Cardinals. Eddie was also a starting Guard for this summer’s OFC Varsity championship winners, the Hamilton Jr. Tiger-Cats.

Ben FavotBenjamin Favot – OL – 6’2″ 275 – St Benedict’s [Sudbury ON]

Last year Favot was a prime recuit of the Ottawa GeeGees, even attending their training camp before reconsidering. He committed to Guelph back in February. Favot was a 3-time Lineman of the Year at St. Benedict’s. This summer he was the starting Centre for the Sudbury Gladiators who reached the OFC Varsity Championship game.

OL recruit Xave Warner

Xave Warner – OL – 6”4″ 285 – Canada Prep [Mississauga ON]

An extremely athletic “big man”, Warner has developed into quite a football player since coming to Canada from Trinidad just a few years ago. He played at Mt Carmel and with the OVFL’s Mississauga Warriors before attending Canada Prep in 2015 where he started every game. Warner is very versatile and could play either Tackle or Guard at the CIS level.

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2 Responses to 2016 Recruiting Breakdown – Offensive Line

  1. Farmer Dave says:

    Thanks Peter! It sounds like we’re in good shape on the offensive side of the ball. Do you think we will still use Tight Ends with Toppan & Gerrie gone? I believe local player Daniel Urbshas is still with the team, is he playing another position?

    • First, Urbshas is back and competing for a starting position at Centre. It is totally my mistake for missing his name.

      Second, I believe we will continue to see Guelph use tight ends on a regular basis. It might be that they are both O-Linemen unless a Receiver/TE emerges.

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