2016 Recruiting Breakdown – Defensive Line

The Recruits

Justin Thibodeau – DL – 6’2″ 235 – Corpus Cristi [Burlington ON]
Devin Catt – DE – 6’4″ 240 – East Elgin [Aylmer ON]
Dewan Soyer – DT – 6’1″ 280 – Westdale SS [Hamilton ON]
Isaac Melanson – DE – 6’2″ 215 – Horton HS [North Alton NS]
Cory Flude – DT – 6’3″ 290 – Holy Cross CSS [Kingston ON] – Queen’s transfer
Matt Delmas – DE – 6’3″ 245 – Loyola CSS [Oakville ON] – SMU transfer

The Background

The D-Line is another position group with some major turnover. Graduated, or not returning for other reasons, are Jordan Thompson, Daniel Horta, Zack Mallough, Reza Shayani, Blake McNeilly, Michael Halfday and Jelani Pascoe. All of these players dressed and saw action in 2015.

Returning along the D-Line are two players who have significant experience and have started many games – Donnie Egerter and Derek Drouillard. Others who have seen more limited action are Greg Corfield, Charlie Taggart and Chris Larson. Talented 2015 recruits Lucas Brennan and Daniel Fascione should be ready to compete after a year in the program. You can also mark down Justis Croasdale as a DE.

BTW I recall a conversation back in 2013 with assistant coach John Engel who recruited Croasdale. He compared Croasdale, then a DB recruit, and DE Jordan Thompson. Engel felt the hard-hitting DB was such a physical stud that he could end up playing a DE role like Thompson did in his first 2 years.

The Outlook

Even in a year when there are as many players leaving as there are returning I’m optimistic about this group. First, I think Donnie Egerter could be the most dominant defensive tackle in the OUA this year. Second, Guelph has recruited well at these positions and I trust Brian Cluff’s ability to prepare these players. Drouillard, Taggart, and Corfield are ready to grow into bigger roles while I expect Brennan, Fascione and Croasdale will be ready to step up when needed.

My Thoughts

With the loss of 7 DLs there is potentially a bigger role for this year’s recruiting class to play. With only 7 returning players there isn’t as much competition above them on the depth chart as usual. I think the two transfers – Corey Flude and Matt Delmas – will play based on their previous experience. But even a few injuries and there will be true freshmen dressing in back up roles. Remember, last year Guelph dressed 13 different DLs and used several OLs on the D-line in some situations.

Recruit Profiles

Recruit Justin ThibodeauJustin Thibodeau – DL – 6’2″ 235 – Corpus Cristi [Burlington ON]

A very versatile and athletic player, Thibodeau has also played fullback and on the offensive line. His size says defensive end but when I saw how muscular he was, I thought he could be a small, quick DT like former Gryphon & OUA All Star Chris Hladich. Thibodeau has played for Gryphon assistant coaches in strong programs at Corpus Cristi and with the Burlington Stampeders.

Recruit Devin CattDevin Catt – DE – 6’4″ 240 – East Elgin [Aylmer ON]

A true farm boy from Elgin County, Catt earned honours as the top lineman in the TVDSB [London area]. He has a great frame and looks like he could add 20-30 pounds while remaining very athletic. I think he has the potential to play either D-End or D-Tackle, or potentially be one of those versatile DLs who can be switch back and forth between the two.

Dewan SoyerDewan Soyer – DT – 6’1″ 280 – Westdale SS [Hamilton ON]

I haven’t seen Soyer play or seen any highlights but DC Adam Grandy has. Soyer played for Grandy when he was the DC of the Hamilton Varsity Hurricanes in 2015. Soyer also played for former Gryphon Mark Brown at Westdale. His Westdale Warriors team won an OFSAA bowl for the first time in 2015. The very solidly built Soyer looks like an ideal candidate for the 1-Tech DT position.

I MelansonIsaac Melanson – DE – 6’2″ 215 – Horton HS [North Alton NS]

This Nova Scotia product comes with a big reputation. He was the Nova Scotia Tier-1 Lineman of the Year and a Tier-1 All Star at D-End. Canada Football Chat ranked Melanson as one of the Top 100 prospects in Canada. He comes by his talent naturally. His father played at Acadia where his older brother Adam is currently playing, having been a CIS All Canadian in 2015. Melanson biggest asset may be his sub-4.7 sec speed.

Corey FludeCory Flude – DT – 6’3″ 290 – Holy Cross CSS [Kingston ON] – Queen’s transfer

A Queen’s U grad, Flude is entering a graduate program at Guelph. He played 4 years for the Golden Gaels including 2 years as a starter at defensive tackle. In a solid 2015 campaign Flude had 21 solo tackles, 5 assists and a sack for the Golden Gaels.

M Delmas

Matt Delmas – DE – 6’3″ 245 – Loyola CSS [Oakville ON] – SMU transfer

Delmas played at St Mary’s in 2013 & 2014 and earned AUS All Star honours in 2014. He sat out the 2015 season and is eligible to play immediately at Guelph. As a sophomore Delmas had 25 solo tackles, 14 assists & 8 sacks for 66 yards in just 6 games. He previously played with the Burlington Stampeders.

This entry was posted in Recruiting 2016, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s