The future of the Gryphons was on display Saturday at the annual Meet the Team luncheon at Brass Taps.The event serves as the formal introduction of the majority of the year’s recruiting class that can make it to the luncheon. It also gives the recruits a chance to meet one another, meet the people that are going to become their family during however long they stay with the team. In many cases, friendships started at the luncheon will last a lifetime.“I love using Christmas as an analysis, it’s my very favourite day of the year,” interim head coach Kevin MacNeill said. “Training camp is like Christmas where you really get to unwrap the presents and you get to play with them. This is like getting a sneak peak, checking out the wrapping paper and the bows. It’s really a great opportunity to see them all together and start creating that brotherhood that is so important that we really have used as a cornerstone to our success. That brotherhood that started today really is the biggest thing that we can put to these guys early on so that they can start making those relationships and those bonds.”A total of 31 of this year’s recruiting class, rated seventh in the country, were in attendance. They learned of the football expectations the team has of them and were also told that the schooling part of the equation was huge.“We’re just making sure that the guys understand that it’s a step up, academically, athletically and socially,” MacNeill said. “It’s important for them to come in with their eyes wide open and do everything they can to put themselves in a position where they can start from success.”The Gryphs stress that the players are student athletes with the student part coming first.“We believe in the University of Guelph and the education that you can get from here,” MacNeill said. “That’s one of the things that’s made us successful, how well we’ve kind of connected to the university and the academics here and presented that as the main option of why they should be picking to come to this school.”Among the recruits in attendance was Zack Buchan, a quarterback from Georgia who’s transferring from Kennesaw State.“I was originally going to go to the University of Alberta coming out of high school, but some things happened with the prerequisites I needed to take in high school that I didn’t take,” Buchan said. “I ended up going to Kennesaw State University, it’s a D1 AA program down in Georgia, but it just wasn’t going in the direction that I had hoped. I came in contact with Stu Lang, a great man. He got me in contact with Guelph and everything and flew me up. I loved it from the get-go.”Buchan didn’t get into any game action with the Owls last season as he red-shirted and was part of the practice squad. He’s looking forward to the change to the Canadian game.“I’ve been studying it a lot,” he said. “I used to watch CFL football a good bit. I’m a big Bombers fan. There’s a difference, but I’m looking forward to it. There are a lot of the same schemes, a lot of the same concepts. I’ve just got to get used to a bigger field, that extra man, the motion with the receivers and all. It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’m really looking forward to it all. I can’t wait to get on the field and win a Vanier.”The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback who called the signals at Dawson County High School in Dawsonville, Ga., prior to going to Kennesaw State, feels the Canadian game is ideal for quarterbacks.“Honestly, for a quarterback it’s like heaven,” he said. “You’re throwing the heck out of the ball. You’ve got three downs. You don’t get a good gain your first down, you’ve got to throw it. The field’s so big, if you have the receivers and you have the time, you can really sling it around wherever. It’s really, really fun.”With an aunt and uncle living in Kitchener and the Buchans having lived in southern Ontario before moving to Dawsonville, the transition to life in Guelph isn’t expected to be a tough one for the quarterback.“They’re originally from Burlington. He’s a dual citizen and they kind of wanted to go to somewhere close to Burlington,” MacNeill said. “It’s nice to have a guy who was looking to come up to Canada and play here and has some history and some background from the area and some family close by in Kitchener as well. He’s got a support network around him here. It’s not like he’s coming to a foreign country for the first time, he’s got a support network that can help him with that transition.”A pair who won’t have any worries about getting used to the Royal City are Guelphites Walker Breen and Graham Brodie. They’re defensive backs who are teammates on the Guelph Junior Gryphons Ontario Football Conference varsity team. Breen played high school football with the John F. Ross Royals while Brodie was with the Bishop Macdonell Celtics.“We’re really excited for them,” MacNeill said. "We think the talent in our backyard can kind of sneak up on people sometimes. We’ve always done a great job of making sure that the local talent in Guelph comes to Guelph and they’re two great examples of that.“We pride ourselves on kind of growing football from a grassroots perspective. We put a lot into the community football here and we provide a lot of resources to kind of grow the community football and provide great and safe opportunities for our local talent. We’re really excited to get those guys.”Breen played both defensive back and quarterback with Ross and was also a quarterback with the Junior Gryphons last year, but has decided that defensive back is his position.“I like defensive back the best. It’s the most exciting I think,” he said. “It’s completely different than quarterback, it’s almost the exact opposite. It’s making a mess of what they’re trying to do instead of trying to fix a mess that they make of my stuff, if that makes sense.”He also feels that having quarterback experience can pay off on the defensive side of the ball.“I think there’s a big advantage to being a quarterback in the past just because I know the offence that they’re trying to do a lot of the time, which helps a lot,” he said.Breen follows his parents to the University of Guelph as both are graduates of the school. He has began workouts with the other recruits and veterans who are in the area.“I’ve already started working out with Jordan Foley, the strength and conditioning coach, and I’m just going to get in and try to get as much as I can,” he said. “They’re interesting. It’s a different atmosphere, but I understand why people love it. It’s a great place to be.”And he knows the summer workouts are designed to have everyone ready for the start of training camp.“I’m expecting it’s going to be a grind,” Breen said of the camp. “It’s going to be a grind but I’m just going to have to work at it and make it through.”Training camp is to start Aug. 13 at Alumni Stadium.