Take a look at the Depth Chart for tomorrow’s game. [You have to scroll down] I find it more than just interesting. It answers some questions for me and gives us a picture of what the 2016 Gryphons will look like.
- By my count there are 11 new starters – 6 on offense and 5 on defense. That’s not including Mikey Carney who is back at the Field Corner position after missing 2015 or Andrew Graham who is starting at a new position. Two of the 11 “new” starters are actually transfers who have started at other schools – DE Matt Delmas [SMU] and DT Corey Flude [Queen’s].
- The other new starters on defense are Luke Korol at Will LB, Riley Baines at Sam LB, and Shaq Munroe at Field Half. On offense, the new starters are 3 receivers – Marcus Joseph, Rob Carnegie and Thomas Bresciani, plus the 3 OLs listed below.
- Beyond the new starters, I count 18 other players dressing for the Gryphons for the first time.
- There are 15 members of the 2016 recruiting class among the 55 players on the dress roster.
- After the number of new faces in the lineup, the next thing that jumps out at me … a couple of important big men are not dressing for the game – LT Jaylen Guthrie & DT Greg Corfield. Both sustained injuries in training camp. Not season ending injuries fortunately. I won’t be surprised if Guthrie is ready for the Labour Day game and Corfield a few weeks later.
- Sliding into Guthrie’s left tackle spot is 5th year vet Kyle Fraser. Fraser started 4 games at LT back in his freshman season. He has started the the past 3 years at right tackle. The plan was for him to move inside to left guard. A draft pick of the Ottawa RedBlacks Fraser worked as a guard in their CFL training camp. Getting the start at LG is 4th-yr Dan Urbshas. The other new starters on the O-Line are Eric Starczala at Centre and Arran McRae at Right Tackle.
- I don’t know if Corfield would have started at one of the DT spots or not, but he would have been a key part of the rotation. In Corfield’s absence redshirt freshman Lukas Brennan and freshman Dewan Soyer will be backing up 5th-yr vets Donnie Egerter and Corey Flude.
- Geoff Bezruchko is the only Tight End on the 55-man roster. I recall seeing Bezruchko play in one game last season. I knew he was a walk-on from Richmond Hill and that while he was very athletic he was a bit of a project. What I didn’t know was that Bezruchko was a former Team Ontario soccer player and an OHL hockey player who had never before played football. I learned that and more from this article – From the rink to the field
- Contrary to my speculation about a shift back to linebacker, Derek Drouillard is starting again at Defensive End. One position change that happened late in training camp … freshman Harry Robinson came in as a running back but is now listed as Tristan Doughlin‘s backup at the Safety position. Doughlin is in his 5th year so that may be a quicker route to playing time for Robinson than the very deep Tailback position.
- Rob Carnegie‘s shift from RB to Slotback has paid off for him. He will be starting at the inside slot position vacated by James Ingram.
- Checkout the UofT depth chart and you may recognize the name Ryan Searle. A Mississauga native Searle was a Gryphon recruit in 2012. He spent two seasons on the scout team here before transferring to UofT-Mississauga. Searle is now in his 3rd year with the Varsity Blues and has earned a starting role at the NT position in the Blues 3-4 defense.
- The 3-4 is a little bit unusual as a base defense in the OUA but I think there are a couple of reasons the V-Blues employ it. It suits their personnel. They typically have had a shortage of big bodies and have more smaller, athletic, linebacker-sized bodies available to them. It suits their Defensive Coordinator Kevin Eiben who has a CFL background and experience in a 3-4.
Five Things You Need to Know: Gryphons Football vs Toronto Varsity Blues