D-10 Football 2016 Awards & All Stars

As has become the custom, the University of Guelph’s Gryphon Football program hosted the D-10 Awards Luncheon at the Cutten Club today. More than 60 local players, coaches and media enjoyed the food, camaraderie, speeches and presentations. I wasn’t there today but it is an event I have enjoyed several previous times.

The major award winners were …

The Nick FitzGibbon Trophy – Simon Chaves – QB/DB – GCVI


Offensive MVP – Tommy Neild – WR – Centennial CVI


Defensive MVP – Brandon Ferigo – LB – GCVI


Lineman of the Year – Tavius Robinson – DE -GCVI


Rookie of the Year – Desmond McGregor – OL – St James CSS


When you’re talking about the elite players in D-10 it’s hard not to mention the recruiting angle. The Gryphons have done a good job for quite a few years now of keeping most of the elite talent at home, so it’s good news to hear that ‘Fitzy’ Award winner Chaves has committed to Guelph. As I understand it, he is supposed to be signing his Letter of Intent in a separate ceremony later in the day.

Guelph fans and alumni may recognize the names Nield and Robinson. And yes, Tommy Neild is the son of former Gryphon defensive end Pat Neild, while Tavius Robinson is the nephew of another great Gryphon, safety Junior Robinson.

A top priority recruit for the Gryphons, Neild has narrowed his options to Guelph and McMaster. I’ve spoken to Pat several times in the past couple years and don’t doubt he’d like to see his son become a Gryphon, but he isn’t putting any pressure on Tommy and letting him make his own choice. The Gryphons hope to receive a commitment from the younger Nield soon.

In the case of Robinson and his teammate Ferigo, I understand that they will be returning to GCVI in 2017. Hopefully we will see them in the 2018 recruiting class.

On a personal note, I think it is very important to secure legacy recruits -i.e. players who have had fathers, uncles or grandfathers play at Guelph – whenever possible. It builds and reinforces the “family” nature of the program. (Just like recruiting siblings does.) It is one of the things that differentiates Dabo Swinney’s Clemson program from Nick Saban’s Alabama. Five Clemson players who won the National Championship on Monday were the sons of Clemson players who won the title in 1981.

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The D-10 All Star team for 2016


QB – Simon Chaves – GCVI
QB – Alex Durigon – St James
RB – Evan Brennan – GCVI
RB – Tanner Nelmes –  St James
REC – Dalton O’Brien – Lourdes
REC – George Carrier – JF Ross
REC – Caelen Fraser – Bishop Mac
REC – Reid Martin – St James
REC – Tommy Neild – Centennial
OL – Aaron Pacha – GCVI
OL – Vianet Mongu – Lourdes
OL – James Leach – JF Ross
OL – Matteo Stradiotto – Bishop Mac
OL – Nathan Sandvido – St James


DB – Lachlun Frey – GCVI
DB – Keontae King – Lourdes
DB – Caleb Zigby – JF Ross
DB – Adrian Martirena St James
LB – Brandon Ferigo – GCVI
LB – Brandon Hoang – Lourdes
LB – Brady Nelmes – St James
LB – Andrew Sheriff – St James
DL – Tavius Robinson – GCVI
DL – Will Lewis – Bishop Mac
DL – Michael Vuk – St James
DL – Braydan Paul – St James

Special Teams

Jordan Bauer – JF Ross
Nick Marquis – St James

Honourable Mentions

Kieran O’Donnell – Bishop Mac
Dakota Brown – CCVI
Josh Tran – GCVI
Ryan Gorgi – Lourdes
Owen Sutcliffe – JF Ross
Daniel Rojas – St James

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