Photo credit: Calgary Dinos Athletics
Photo credit: Calgary Dinos Athletics

Hec Crighton Trophy winner, quarterback Adam Sinagra goes from the tutelage of Dave Dickenson to another former CFL QB turned head coach in Jason Maas.

Sinagra is set to attend Edmonton Eskimos training camp after doing the same with the Calgary Stampeders in 2018.

The Most Outstanding Player in Canadian university football last season set a new USports single-season passing record with 3,233 yards – averaging over 404 yards per game – and added 23 touchdowns. The University of Calgary Dinos signal caller put on a display for the ages in Saskatoon on Sept. 14, 2018, passing for 569 yards against the University of Saskatchewan which ranks second-most in a single game all-time.

During the 2019 USports East-West Bowl, a showcase event for the next class of Canadian talent available for the 2020 draft, Sinagra threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns while leading the West team to a 35-17 victory.

Sinagra’s skill level improved markedly after attending Stampeders training camp a year ago. Dickenson has decades of knowledge about playing and coaching the pivotal position at an elite level in the Canadian game. Bo Levi Mitchell, the two-time Most Outstanding Player, Grey Cup champion and MVP, ranks among the best at quarterback in the CFL.

Just being in the presence of Dickenson and Mitchell benefits any young quarterback and Sinagra gleaned all he could from the opportunity. Sinagra learned how Mitchell goes through his reads while dropping back to pass and, as a result, the decision-making from the Pointe Claire, Quebec native is impeccable. He’s also shown some of the swagger Mitchell naturally exudes.

The last Dinos quarterback who went through an apprenticeship with the Stampeders won a Hec Crighton Trophy, became a CFL draft pick, claimed another Hec and played two seasons for the pro team in Calgary: Andrew Buckley. And Buckley has returned to his alma mater to help Sinagra in a coaching role. Sinagra is developing physically but he’s around the same height and weight as Buckley. who was listed at six-foot-one 205 pounds when he retired from the CFL.

Sinagra spent an extra year in CEGEP at John Abbott College and has produced at a high level right from the start. Sinagra was the 2016 Hardy Cup MVP, then came off the bench to throw for 276 yards and one touchdown against Laval in the Vanier Cup that year. He led the Dinos to another Hardy Cup title in 2017 during his first year as the full-time starter and passed for 318 yards in a hard-fought defeat to Laval in the championship game once again.

Put a flashy Hec Crighton on the resume and it looks similar to Buckley who earned a chance in the pro game with many of the same accolades, school and mentors – Dinos offensive coordinator Ryan Sheahan coached both in their formative university time.

Buckley proved quarterbacks groomed entirely in Canada can compete alongside any regardless of the passport in the CFL. If Sinagra keeps slinging it around for gaudy numbers a legitimate pro shot should come to pass.

Learning from Maas and Trevor Harris can only build on the strong foundation Sinagra has worked to put together.

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Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.