The Gryphons are big on local talent and one of the newest Guelphites to suit up in their colours is rookie linebacker Graham Brodie.He picked up the first interception of his OUA career in the Gryphons’ last home game, a win over the Queen’s Gaels.“That was big,” he said. “The family came out and watched and it was good because it kind of calmed my nerves and showed me that I could play at this level. The interception really helped me build up my confidence.“I was just in the right spot at the right time and I took off running.”Brodie’s nerves have also been calmed by the faith the Gryphons have placed in him. A Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School graduate who has played on Team Canada and Team Ontario squads was named to the dress roster coming out of training camp.“First-year games, it’s always tough going in there as a rookie, but the team really has my back and they seem confident in me so that really boosted me up,” he said. “I feel like I can play against some of the veteran guys.”Despite his football background, the university league is a step up and he’s had to adjust to it.“The speed is a lot tougher,” Brodie said. “You’ve really got to get into the playbook so you don’t second guess yourself. You’ve got to be able to have instincts and you get that from getting into the playbook.”The Gryphon playbook is always nearby when he’s not on the field as, like most rookies, he’s found himself looking in it most days.“You’re always learning,” he said. “You’re never not learning so it’s always just constant. It’s an ongoing process.”The Gryphon training camp was also a new process for Brodie.“They really try to break you down and build you back up again the way they want your team to be,” he said. “It was different and it was definitely something to get used to, but I think as the years go on you’ll grow and get better than that.”Brodie helped himself out during the summer by attending player-organized workouts, including the sessions in the gym. Living in Guelph, he really had no excuse to miss them.“It definitely helped coming out in the summer to the workouts, even just to meet the team so you weren’t coming in the first day as a stranger,” he said. “The whole team knew you, so it was kind of easier to integrate with the team that way.”OUA rookies often play against opposing players who can be up to five years older. That’s a big difference from what they’re used to as the previous age difference was usually two years.“It’s quite a big difference,” Brodie said. “The strength and also getting in the gym helps a lot. At the end of the day, if you know your stuff and you know where to be on the field, then you’re going to make plays.”While Brodie admits he does set personal goals, they’re not at the top of his list of goals for the season.“I think goals really help your game plan so you know if you’re succeeding,” he said. “Team first is always the goal and just bringing home the win. That’s always No. 1 at the end of the day.”And concentrating on the team goals will often make personal goals become reality.“Usually they coincide with one another,” Brodie said.The Gryphons (2-2) will start the second half of their season with their Homecoming Game against the Western Mustangs (3-1) Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.