The 54 players on the Gryphons recruiting class of 2017 will face several challenges leading up to the team’s training camp in August including remembering each other’s names.”
“That’s not going to be easy at all, but I’m pretty sure that once training camp starts everyone is going to be brothers and we’re going to know everyone’s name off by heart,” receiver Ryan Isenor said. “Everyone’s going to be hanging out all the time. They’re probably the only people I’m going to be hanging out with.”
“I’m just going to focus on the offensive guys first and then make my way to the defensive guys,” kicker Christopher MacLean said. “There are way too many guys to remember right off the bat.”
Most of the 54 gathered at Cutten Fields golf club for the team’s annual Meet the Recruits Luncheon
“It’ll take a while,” offensive lineman Andy McFalls said. “It’s going to be important to get to know them because you’re going to know them for five years.”
“It’s going to take a little while to remember their names, but once you get them in your mind, you’ll know them,” defensive lineman Mitchell Thiele said. “We’re going to be friends with these guys for a long time.”
The event was the first gathering of the recruits since they decided the University of Guelph was the place to continue both their education and their football.
“When I came here, the tour I got – all the coaches were so nice,” Isenor said. “They invited me to their training camp last year and I saw how organized they were. And just walking around the campus, it’s like a welcoming community. Everyone helps you out and, of course, the food’s great, too.
“I love how the coaches run the offence and everything. I love how the whole team is run. It’s really organized. I just love everything about it. I love the scenery. It has that small-town feel and I’m from a small town, so I like that.”
“I found that the sense of community that was here compared to other schools I talked to, I felt that there was a great sense of community to come here,” MacLean said. “The coaches, they were really involved and they wanted me to be a part of the team – a big part of the team -- and they were hoping that I could make an impact. You know what? I found that level of commitment was what made me want to come here.”
For the recruits, this summer will be one of hard work as they prepare for training camp that is to start Aug. 10.
“It’s coming quick,” McFalls said. “I’m in the gym three or four times a week and when I’m not in the gym, I’m at work trying to keep myself busy and prepping for August. I’m excited.”
“Lots of training and coming up for the sessions on Sundays is going to be essential to make sure we’re ready for training camp,” Thiele said. “They’re going to be teaching us some stuff there that we’re going to need to know for the four or five years that we’re here so we’ll get a leg up this summer.”
Each knows he has his own things to work on this summer to be ready for their first university camp with the Gryphons.
“For me, I’m going to be grinding it out during the summer with tons of training seven days a week and lots of kicking,” MacLean said. “I’m just going to be putting everything I can into the summer to make sure that when I come into training camp I’m going to be top notch and hopefully compete for a starting job.”
“Just lift, lift and stay conditioned,” McFalls said. “That’s a big part of camp, the conditioning part of it with all the running and that stuff. It’s going to be very important come August so I’m looking forward to it.”
“Everyone talks about getting stronger and faster and all that and it’s going to be some of that and learning the play book is going to be a big factor,” Thiele said.
And each knows the training camp will be a lot harder than anything they experienced at high school.
“I know it’s going to be high tempo and I know it’s going to be something I haven’t seen before,” Isenor said. “I’m hoping to just mentally get ready for it and with all the workouts be mentally and physically the best I can, but I know my body’s still going to be feeling it. I hope to do my best and maybe show the coaches what I can do.”
“I’m expecting that it’s going to be a lot more difficult than anything I’ve ever seen before,” MacLean said. “It’s going to be a challenge but I’m expecting to be prepared and ready for it and I’m going to be really ready to compete for that starting job that I hope to get in some capacity.”
“Long days and lots of football, that’s a good thing,” McFalls said. “Lots of learning going on and it’s something you have to do. If you want to be good in this league, you have to do it and I’m looking forward to it.”
“It’s going to be tough. Everyone says how tough it’s going to be, but a little hard work and we’ll be all right,” Thiele said. “It’s going to be a lot of work every day for a couple of weeks. It’s going to be hard on the body and the mind, but once we get through it, it will be worth it, that’s for sure.”
The recruiting class includes 12 players who have played for Team Ontario in the past and three transfers – receivers Eric Deschambault from Concordia and Zeph Fraser from Laurier and offensive lineman Scott Powers from York.
The Gryphons are also expecting around 65 returnees from the 2016 squad.
The following are the recruits, listed by position, with height, weight and hometown..
Stuart Allen, 6-foot-6, 340 lbs, Oakville
Braedon Ashford, 6-foot-3, 265 lbs, Hamilton
Tyler Grisolia, 6-foot-3, 282 lbs, Richmond Hill
Scott Johnston, 6-foot-3, 293 lbs, Hamilton
Andy McFalls, 6-foot-4, 260 lbs, Mississauga
Daniel Miller, 6-foot-4, 270 lbs, Brampton
Muyiwa Ojo, 6-foot-3, 260 lbs, Brampton
Scott Powers, 6-foot-0, 275 lbs, Dunnville
Collin Reece, 6-foot-4, 275 lbs, Smithville
Thomas Williams, 6-foot-5, 279 lbs, King City
Alex Brophy, 6-foot-1, 170 lbs, Mississauga
Brayden Lassenba, 6-foot-0, 180 lbs, Ottawa
Deandre Rose, 6-foot-1, 180 lbs, Brampton
Kyle Simms, 6-foot-5, 210 lbs, Komoka
Elrick Harty, 6-foot-0, 200 lbs, Milton
Aaron Inwood, 6-foot-1, 210 lbs, Campbellville
Jacob McDonald, 5-foot-8, 190 lbs, Calgary
Maksym Nazartchyk, 5-foot-8, 185 lbs, Niagara Falls
A.J. Chase, 5-foot-10, 180 lbs, Montreal
Eric Deschambault, 5-foot-10, 195 lbs, Saint-Constant, Que.
Tevin Doyley, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs, Oakville
Zeph Fraser, 6-foot-0, 185 lbs, Mississauga
Ethan Hill, 5-foot-8, 175 lbs, Aurora
Ryan Isenor, 5-foot-9, 170 lbs, Delhi
Kyle Lavergne, 5-foot-9, 155 lbs, Halliburton
Zeke Margaritis, 6-foot-3, 200 lbs, Hamilton
Dan Serravalle, 6-foot-0, 165 lbs, Niagara Falls
Luke Williams, 6-foot-3, 180 lbs, London
Pierson French, 6-foot-5, 220 lbs, Orillia
Christopher MacLean, 6-foot-3, 195 lbs, Brampton
Kevin Acheampong, 6-foot-0, 260 lbs, Brampton
Eric Anton, 6-foot-5, 205 lbs, St. Thomas
Sandor Mod, 6-foot-4, 270 lbs, Welland
Noah Ross, 6-foot-1, 280 lbs, Kitchener
Akash Swaminadhan, 6-foot-0, 293 lbs, Kitchener
Mitchell Thiele, 6-foot-3, 280 lbs, Caistor Centre
Jared Beeksma, 6-foot-1, 190 lbs, Cambridge
Samuel Bergeron, 6-foot-2, 215 lbs, Oakville
Dawson Elliott, 5-foot-10, 190 lbs, London
Ahmad Imtiaz, 6-foot-0, 220 lbs, Toronto
Dylan McKenzie, 6-foot-0, 180 lbs, Windsor
Aiden Mielczarek, 6-foot-2, 180 lbs, Newmarket
Nick Sarre, 5-foot-11, 185 lbs, London
Sean Bennett, 6-foot-0, 175 lbs, Toronto
Ben Cadman, 5-foot-11, 160 lbs, Burlington
Simon Chaves, 5-foot-11, 178 lbs, Guelph
Joe Diorio, 5-foot-9, 185 lbs, London
Kyle Funk, 6-foot-3, 185 lbs, Markham
Tyler Hourie, 5-foot-11, 175 lbs, St. Thomas
Ben Lack, 6-foot-1, 165 lbs, Burlington
Kosi Onyeka, 5-foot-10, 175 lbs, Brampton
Brandon Schofield, 6-foot-1, 170 lbs, Burlington
Tyler Scholz, 6-foot-3, 185 lbs, Niagara Falls
Ben Slinger, 6-foot-2, 175 lbs, Cambridge