Esks fast track youth


When you’re building a football team it’s one thing to say that youth must be served. it’s quite another to follow through on the mantra when jobs, including your own, are on the line.

When the Eskimos roster cutdown included the name of veteran O-lineman Brian Ramsay  it signalled very clearly that Ed Hervey likes what he sees in Danny Groulx and wants to see an immediate return on that investment.

The Esks GM told 3 Down Nation ” some will see this as a risk but if not now, when? The only way to get experience is to play”.  On Groulx, the Esks 1st pick in this years’ draft, Hervey says “He’s definately the player we drafted, doesnt make the same mistake repeatedly, graded well in 1 on 1 drills and shows an ability to improve.”

You’re forgiven if the name James Franklin was not top of mind in the Esks quarterback derby.  With vets Mike Reilly and Matt Nichols having locked down the starter and back-up slots respectively, the battle for the three spot typically goes to a prospect. Franklin, a three year starter at Missouri State, came to camp looking up the depth chart at ex-Bomber Justin Goltz and 2013 Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch.

Looking poised in his debut against Saskatchewan last week in Ft. MacMurray, Franklin wtas 10 for 17 passing for 159 yards and a pair of touchdown plunges.   He built off that with another strong outing in Saturday’s pre-season finale win over the Lions in Vancouver.   Good enough for the 6-2, 225 lbs native of Oklahoma City to grab a place on the Esks practice roster.

Hervey says “we feel like we’ve got a player in James. With Matt Nichols likely to test the market at the end of the season we need to plan for the future at that position.”

Saturday, Edmonton opens it’s 66th season in Ft. Mac , playing the role of ‘visitor’ to the Ricky Ray-less Toronto Argonauts.