Western New York has become a hotbed for Canadian football transfers in the past couple of years.
It recently landed another big (emphasis on big) impact player, and this one hails from a town which takes much more than a hop over a bridge to reach.
Ryan Hunter is a reportedly a 6-foot-3, 319-pound lineman who has excelled in summer camps in Richmond, Va.; Delaware and Oklahoma -- and he'll be part of Canisius' first practice on Monday as he begins his junior year at the Buffalo private school.
Check out his story here in the North Bay Nugget (I like the name of the paper).
Canisius' starting quarterback the last two years was Canadian Travis Eman, who is being replaced by Canadian Chris Jugovich this year. Jugovich will be handing off many times to Canadian Mercer Timmis, one of the top running backs in Western New York football.
Another of WNY's top backs is Akeel Lynch at St. Francis, another Canadian. The Red Raiders have also attracted players from Canada, who, like all others mentioned here, have been attracted to Western New York schools because playing American football in high school can lead to NCAA scholarships playing American football in college. That has been the case for Lynch (Boston College verbal) and Eman (Furman).
A marked difference in Hunter is that while all the previously mentioned players have hailed from the greater Toronto area, he hails from North Bay, Ontario. North Bay is well north -- and I mean welllllll north -- of Toronto. The drive from North Bay to Buffalo is a six-hour one.
Here are some more details on Hunter:
* A site called CanadaFootballChat has a nice feature on him.
* Here's a message board thread with info supplied by a fervent fan of his.
* And here's a youtube video of highlights. Get ready to feel sorry for the Canadian kids he's been throwing around:
This latest addition might prompt some moans about recruiting and this and that which we've heard here and there with this recent influx of Canadians.
I think that sort of thing is misguided. The bottom line is that Canisius and St. Francis have attracted students from Canada because they have good football programs. All sorts of private schools attract all sorts of students because those schools may excel in certain areas.
The move makes sense for the Canadians: They are coming to a place where they can better showcase their football skills against better competition and it already has shown that it can help them obtain college scholarships.
The fact that it is making certain teams from Western New York better only increases the level of play in the area, and I think it benefits Western New York football as a whole.
taggedCanisius | Football | High school football