Five members of the OUA Yates Cup champion Guelph Gryphons were selected in Tuesday’s Canadian Football League draft.“I don’t know where that rates in terms of the draft, but it has to be one of the best in Gryphon history,” interim head coach Kevin MacNeill said. “I think a lot of teams recognize the quality of players we have.”Picked were linebacker Curtis Newton (fifth round, 40th overall by Toronto Argonauts), offensive lineman Kyle Fraser-Audit (sixth round, 45th overall by Ottawa Redblacks), receiver A’dre Fraser (sixth round, 47th overall by Montreal Alouettes), offensive lineman Matt Toppan (eighth round, 64th overall by Montreal) and receiver/returner Ryan Nieuwesteeg (eighth round, 66th overall by Toronto).“I’m pretty relieved that I finally know where I’m going,” Newton said.“It’s undescribable,” Fraser-Audit said. “I’m out of words right now.” He’s the first Gryphon ever selected by the Redblacks.“I’m pretty excited,” Fraser said.“I’m relieved now,” Toppan said. “It was a little stressful.”“The feeling’s surreal, especially getting picked up that close to the end of the draft,” Nieuwesteeg said. Four players were selected after him. “I was getting a little antsy.”While there could be some mixed emotions with players getting drafted and not returning for their final season of university football, MacNeill figures the draft shows the coaches that they are doing things right.“It’s my favourite day,” MacNeill said.He compared it to Christmas, stating that the coaches get to watch the CFL teams unwrap the talent that they’d helped develop.MacNeill also hoped that the draft-eligible Gryphons who weren’t selected got invitations to CFL camps.Newton and Nieuwesteeg will stay in the Royal City to begin their CFL careers as the Argos are to hold their training camp at Alumni Stadium.“It definitely will make the transition easier in that they are holding their training camp here in Guelph,” Newton said. “It’s where I’m living right now so it will make the transition easier. I’m definitely excited to get going.”“That’s phenomenal,” Nieuwesteeg said. “To be in a situation where you’re comfortable already, especially in your first transition into a professional sports league, I’m sure it can be a little difficult. But playing in your own backyard at what I call home now is definitely going to be an advantage.”Newton and Nieuwesteeg will join former Gryphons Jake Reinhart, Cam Walker and Dan MacDonald at the Argos’ camp.“To have Curtis go to the same team, he’s been one of my best friends since first year,” Nieuwesteeg said. “It feels great.”Fraser and Toppan join former Gryphons receiver Alex Charette, offensive lineman Jake Piotrowski and defensive lineman Jeff Finley with the Alouettes.Fraser and Charette have worked out several times together at Alumni Stadium during the off-season after Charette returned to campus to continue his studies.“I’ve been training with him the last couple of weeks and we’ve been collaborating on some things with him being around Guelph,” Fraser said. “I was able to pick his brain a little bit and see what it’s like at the next level before it even happened.”Toppan and Piotrowski are former roommates.“It’s good to have a friend that’s on the team,” Toppan said.Each of the Gryphons felt his effort at practices, training camps, games and off-season workouts during his time with the Gryphons was rewarded with his selection in the draft.“There’s a sense of accomplishment knowing all the hard work has paid off,” Newton said.“That’s why I came here with a vision of from the beginning,” Fraser said of being drafted. “I wanted to play professional football at some level and I figured Guelph would help take me there and now here we are.”“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and a big shout out to (offensive line) coach Mike MacDonald,” Toppan said. “He’s helped me through this entire process, getting me ready and everything.”“All the hard work has definitely paid off,” Fraser-Audit said.“It’s a great team to be at,” Nieuwesteeg said of the Gryphons. “It’s just a testament to the recruiting and the coaches here and how well they do at bringing players in and how well our players work as a team. To see four of my other teammates (get picked), it’s definitely a great feeling.”All also know that there’s a lot more work to be done to get ready for their first pro camps.“I have just got to keep up the hard work, hit the gym and make sure I’m going to be in the best possible shape to enter camp in a few weeks,” Newton said.“I’ve just got to keep doing the program and trust the program and I’ll be good for camp,” Fraser-Audit said.“I’ll just keep working hard like I have,” Fraser said. “That’s pretty much where I’m at. I’ve been working pretty hard these last couple of months and now that it’s actually happened, it’s time to put the pedal to the floor.”“I’ve just got to gain a little more weight and just keep practising and working out and do all the little things to get ready for camp,” Toppan said.“I’m going to be hitting the gym nice and early,” Nieuwesteeg said. “It’s going to be a lot of focusing on conditioning, that’s the part I feel I’ve got to get back to. You’ve got to get your running legs back and you’ve got to get back into camp form.”The five Gryphons picked in this year’s draft are to report to CFL training camps for medicals and practices with their respective teams May 25. Veterans report for medicals three days later and start practising the day after that.