With training camp opening in a couple of days (and rookies already here) the Ticats announced the signing of all six of their 2015 draft picks as well their first rounder from 2014, defensive tackle Evan Gill. Gill is coming off knee surgery and isn’t ready for on-field work yet but will be at rookie camp when the classroom sessions start tomorrow. There was a Twitter rumour floating around that the Bombers were looking to acquire Gill in a trade but a well-placed CFL source told me that the Ticats haven’t been shopping him anywhere, including Winnipeg. They still have plenty of depth at Canadian defensive tackle but the season-ending injury to Linden Gaydosh as well as the impending free agency of Gaydosh, Ted Laurent and Brian Bulcke means that trading Gill doesn’t make a ton of sense.
The other six signings, with descriptions from the Ticats:
Byron Archambault, a 6-0, 245-pound, native of Montreal, Quebec was selected in the 2nd round, 17th overall in May’s draft. Archambault topped the CFL Combine leader board with an impressive 41 bench press reps, posting the second-highest total in combine history. The Montreal Carabins product and was named to the RSEQ all-star team two years in a row, was named the 2014 defensive player of the year in the RSEQ, and received 1st team all-Canadian honours in 2014.
Jonathan Langa, a 5-11, 214-pound, native of Etobicoke, Ontario, was drafted in the 3rd round, 20th overall by the Tiger-Cats. He played three seasons at St. Mary’s, making 43.5 tackles in 23 games for the Huskies. In addition to back-to-back AUS all-star nods in 2012 and 2013, Langa was named the Huskies’ most valuable player in 2013.
Ron Omara, a 6-2, 240-pound, native of Aylmer, Quebec was selected in the 4th round, 29th overall by the Ticats. He played four seasons with St. Francis Xavier, recording 158 total tackles, five forced fumbles, and four interceptions. In 2013, the X-Men product was named the AUS defensive player of the year, received AUS all-star honours and was named the team’s most valuable player.
Everett Ellefsen, a 6-3, 233-pound, native of Madisonville, Louisiana was drafted in the 6th round, 51st overall in this year’s draft. Before joining the Tiger-Cats, Ellefsen appeared in 34 games at McNeese State, recording 44 tackles, five sacks, and seven tackles for loss in the 2013 season.
Daniel English, a 6-3, 210-pound, native of Mississauga, Ontario was drafted in the 6th round, 52nd overall by the Ticats. In 2012, he recorded 17 receptions for 342 yards and two touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing) for the UBC Thunderbirds.
Preston Huggins, a 5-11, 205-pound, native of London, Ontario was drafted in the 7th round, 61st overall. A product of Western University, Huggins recorded 42 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
The Ticats also released their training camp schedule, which I’ll paste below. Looks like they are using the “power practice” version of two-a-days, which means two practices separated by a short break, as opposed to the more traditional morning practice followed by an afternoon practice. Well, I think the power practice is pretty much the standard now. Since I’ve covered the team, only George Cortez used old school two-a-days.
The other thing about the schedule: The Ticats have just seven practices before their first pre-season game. That’s an insanely low number and it means that rookies trying to make this team have very little time to make an impression.
SUNDAY, May 31 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
MONDAY, JUNE 1 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
TUESDAY, JUNE 2 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
THURSDAY, JUNE 4 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
FRIDAY, JUNE 5 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
SATURDAY, JUNE 6 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
SUNDAY, JUNE 7 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m. – Walk through at Tim Hortons Field
MONDAY, JUNE 8 7:30 p.m. -PRE-SEASON GAME #1 vs. Ottawa at Tim Hortons Field
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
THURSDAY, JUNE 11 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
FRIDAY, JUNE 12 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
SATURDAY, JUNE 13 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
SUNDAY, JUNE 14 8:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
MONDAY, JUNE 15 2:30 p.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
TUESDAY, JUNE 16 9:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 9:30 a.m. – Practice at Ron Joyce Stadium
FRIDAY, JUNE 19 2nd PRESEASON GAME at Winnipeg