Canadian QBs on display at CFL E-Camp

Jan 29, 2010

by Brian Snelgrove
www.CFL.ca

TORONTO – Three of Canada’s top university quarterbacks will get the chance to showcase their talents at this year’s CFL Evaluation Camp in Toronto.

Hec Crighton Trophy winner Erik Glavic of the Calgary Dinos will be joined by Michael Faulds of Western and 2009 Vanier Cup Champion Danny Brannagan of the Queen’s Golden Gaels at the annual event.

“Being Canadian I’m a strong proponent of it,” says Danny Maciocia, General Manager and Director of Football Operations for the Edmonton Eskimos. “It’s nice to see that we are taking the time to give these kids the opportunity to throw at E-Camp. We have a tendency to forget that there is also quality at the QB position and I hope it extends beyond the opportunity of E-Camp to training camp.”

“I think there should be some more dialogue given to the argument of having a Canadian quarterback. The first step we are taking here is a good one and I think you need to progress from there.”

Glavic is the only CIS player to win the Hec Crighton with two different teams – he also garnered the award as Canada’s most outstanding university player while a member of the Saint Mary’s Huskies in 2007. The 6-foot-6, 230 pound native of Pickering, Ontario led the Dinos to the Vanier Cup last season.

“It’s a bit of a surprise,” says Glavic. “Not many quarterbacks have been invited to this in the past five or six years so it sort of came out of left field but I am looking forward to the opportunity and want to take away from it as much as I can.”

Glavic, who also led the Huskies to a Vanier Cup appearance in ’07, may be well-suited to the CFL game. In addition to throwing for 2,186 yards last season, he showed he is an excellent runner, as he picked up 508 yards on the ground on 48 carries. “My athleticism should really help at this level,” he says. “I’m not your prototypical stand-in-the-pocket type quarterback. I like to try to move around and make things happen. I expect it will be a big leap to this level, especially with the speed and timing of the game.”

Glavic set a team record with a career best 67.5% pass completion mark last season. The fourth year pivot is expected to return to the Dinos next year for a final university season.

“As an athlete Glavic definitely possesses the skill to play in the CFL,” says Calgary Head Coach Blake Nill. “He is very competitive and understands the game very well. He has a reputation for having a big arm but he can also get it done with his feet. That and his competitiveness are his best attributes.”

Faulds, who set a CIS record for most passing yards in a season with 3,033 last year, also holds the record for most career passing yards with 10,811. He is number two in career completions with 761. The 6 -foot-2, 197 pound native of Eden Mills, Ontario led the Mustangs to back-to-back Yates Cup victories in 2007 and ’08. Faulds was named MVP in both of those Mustang victories. In 2008 he guided Western to their first Vanier Cup appearance since 1995 where they lost to Laval by a score of 44-21.

“It’s really exciting,” says Faulds of the invitation to E-camp. “It’s an honour to be chosen along with Erik and Danny. I think this is a reward for having a good career and it’s nice to be given a chance. It (quarterback) is one position that normally doesn’t get looked at at these combines.”

“I guess my best asset would be that I am an all-round quarterback,” Faulds adds. “I can move around, throw from the pocket and am pretty accurate. I also believe I have a good overall knowledge of the game. We had a pretty complex playbook at Western, similar to a lot of CFL teams.”

Faulds is realistic about his chances at the pro level. “Hey coaches need to win, and they want to win now,” he says. “It doesn’t matter that we are Canadian quarterbacks. We have to prove that we are just as capable as those guys south of the border. At least this will give us an opportunity to show what we can do. In fact we may have an advantage since we are more familiar with three down football and the size of the field.”

Former Mustang Head Coach Larry Haylor recruited Faulds and believes he has the tools to impress the CFL scouts. “Michael is a great thrower, probably the best pure passer in the country,” says the winningest coach in CIS history. “He is a great student of the game, a good decision maker and has tremendous poise. The key for all three of these guys is to go in there and not be intimidated or in awe. They are three outstanding quarterbacks.”

Brannagan sparked the Gaels to the Vanier Cup championship last year in a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Glavic-led Dinos by a score of 33-31. The six-foot, 198 pound Burlington, Ontario native won the Ted Morris Trophy as the game’s Most Valuable Player as he threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns. It was the Gaels first Vanier Cup championship since 1992. Brannagan closed out his career at Queen’s in second spot as the CIS all-time leading passer with 10,714 yards. He is third in attempts with 1,211 and fourth in career completions with 667.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity and hope to put on a good show,” says Brannagan. “I think I can impress them with my arm strength and display my skills over the weekend. I hope they will take the time to look back at what I’ve accomplished over the past five years.”

“Unlike some of our American counterparts we have played against similar defenses,” Brannagan continues. “Hopefully they would invite me to a training camp where I can show that I can compete at this level. I would love to be able to make a contribution to a CFL club.”

“Pound for pound he will be the strongest, most powerful kid there,” says Pat Sheahan, Head Coach of the Gaels. “He has an exceptionally strong arm and throws a nice tight spiral. In terms of whether or not he can make it, it depends on the CFL. Danny is a winner everywhere he has been but it takes two or three years to develop at that level. If the league is willing to take that time it could pay off for them.”

The CFL Evaluation Camp will be held March 12-14 in Toronto. Coaches and staff from all eight CFL clubs as well as more than 50 of Canada’s top university football players are expected to attend.

The full E-Camp list is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

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