Greg Corfield was passed over in last spring’s CFL draft and rather than sitting and sulking about it, the defensive lineman has decided to use that as motivation for his fifth and final season with the Gryphons.
“With our defensive coordinator, coach (Dennis) McPhee, coming in, I’m getting a lot of help from him and a lot of pointers,” Corfield said. “Not hearing anything from the CFL or any teams, really, motivated me to get that much better this year and just work harder and don’t stop grinding until I get there.”
That motivation was evident during the off season as Corfield worked to get his weight down.
“This summer for me was more focused on weight loss and getting my speed up,” he said. “I lost about 35 pounds this summer and it’s like night and day difference from last year. I feel so much faster and the joints are better and everything.”
The new trimmed-down Corfield is getting ready for his fifth and final season with the Gryphons.
“I’m really excited about this year,” he said. “I think we have some of the best coaches in the country. There’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience from all of the coaches on our staff. Everyone’s here and working super hard and everyone’s excited about this season. We all know what we’re capable of.”
With OUA rules cutting the length of training camps to 10 days, that made the work summer all that more important for its teams.
“It was a little bit different. We’ve always emphasized everyone being here in the summer and taking part, but this year maybe it was just the motivation from the coaches, but it seemed like we had a lot more players out to workouts, captains’ practices and anything we had.”
Corfield figures the Gryphons are making the best use of their reduced time to get ready for the season opener Sunday afternoon against the McMaster Marauders at Alumni Stadium.
“It is shorter, but I feel like with the two-a-days we’re getting a lot more work and we can watch a lot more film. And we can watch the film of the practice right after as opposed to having a four-hour practice and having to sift through all that film. You hit a wall after a while watching film so it’s a nice break to have in between. I think it’s a lot better and I feel like everyone’s learning a lot.”
Studying the film of practices is an important part of OUA football.
“It’s definitely what makes a difference,” Corfield said. “Everyone can work out. Everyone can get strong. But if you don’t know your opponent and you don’t know yourself, you don’t really know what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right and what you can improve on.”
With the new coaching staff headed by head coach Ryan Sheahan comes a new playbook.
“We came in with a whole new playbook,” Corfield said. “We did have spring camp with the playbook so the veterans are kind of used to it, but this year the way coach McPhee is installing all our plays, it feels more natural. You don’t have to do as much studying of the playbook. It’s more teaching on the field and walking through it and when you walk through it it just kind of comes natural to you.”
Like all of the fifth-year Gryphons, Corfield is amazed at how fast time has gone by.
“It feels like it was yesterday (when I first came to Guelph). Every day at lunch the fifth-years will sit together and just talk about our first training camp and what we were doing and what the vets were doing.”
At that first camp the rookies were told by their last-year teammates that their time with the Gryphons would be over quicker than they could imagine.
“Everyone was saying to just enjoy this while you can and that it just feels like yesterday when we came in. We were all ‘OK, right.’ Everyone says that, but it truly is. It just flies. I guess time flies when you’re having fun.”
The Gryphons and McMaster are to tangle Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.