Gravitation toward golden greatness (VIDEO)

Alex Cho

Alberta, British Columbia & Ontario standouts join OUA team’s 2014 class

Seven recruits will call Kingston home in 2014.

Matteo Del Brocco, Alex Cho, Jason Shamatutu, Conor Redmond, Mitchell Henselwood, Nik Gratton and Farhan Imtiaz have all recently committed to the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

ALEX CHO:

The 6’0 195 pound running back from Calgary, Alberta will make the move out East to commence his CIS career.  He chose the OUA school because he believes it will provide him the best opportunity to excel academically and on the field.

“I feel like they give me the best opportunity to prosper in both academics and athletics,” explained Cho of his decision.  “The long line of players, and traditions facilitated with the Golden Gaels is remarkable, and to be able to represent the university wearing the Tri-colours will truly be a blessing.”

“Ultimately, I believe an education from Queen’s University is prestigious and will help me excel as a leader, role model, and an influential figure to the community. I am very excited.   For the football team, they are one of the most recognized programs in the CIS, and I believe there’s no reason for that to change. The coaches that I have met, are one of the most charismatic leaders I’ve involved myself with, they only further propel my excitement.”

Cho is on the heels of completing a successful high school campaign with St. Mary’s Saints of the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA).  During his time there, he was selected as a Division 1 All-Star, Provincial All-Star as well as Saints Team MVP.

In July 2013, he represented his home province as a member of Team Alberta at the 2013 Football Canada Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick. Not only is Cho a running back, but he has also played at the defensive back position.

“Alex is a fast and physical runner,” commented Queen’s Golden Gaels Head Coach Pat Sheahan.  “He is a good blocker and has breakaway speed.”

“He caught my eye playing for Team Alberta last summer at the Football Canada Cup championship. He is a great student and will be another great fit for our offence. He played for Bill McConkey at St Mary’s in Calgary.”

Jason Shamatutu

JASON SHAMATUTU:

It was pretty simple why the 6’2, 192 pound defensive back from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia decided on the Kingston, Ontario school.

“I committed to Queens because their commitment to greatness is evident,” said Shamatutu.   “When searching for a school I wanted to find one that would challenge me to be my best on and off the field, and Queen’s was a perfect fit.”

“Other factors were the experience of the coaches as well as the amount of alumni support.”

Recently,  Shamatutu played for the Terry Fox Ravens of the British Columbia High School Athletic Association (BCHSFA).  In 2013, he registered 33 tackles, caught four interceptions, 302 receiving yards on 15 receptions and scored five touchdowns with the Ravens.

“Jason will be another great addition to what looks like a very dominant secondary we are building at Queen’s,” added Sheahan.  “He has great size (6’2, 195), great speed and athletic ability.”

“He has made big plays on both sides of the ball and plays very physical. He is a member of Team BC that played very well in Texas against Team USA this past December as well as being a standout on Tom Kudaba’s Terry Fox Secondary team that went 15 rounds with Mount Douglas in the provincial final. He is a great addition to Queen’s.”

Nik Gratton

NIK GRATTON:

The 6’4, 285 offensive lineman from Hamilton, Ontario comes to the Golden Gaels from the Glendale Bears of the Hamilton Wentworth Intercollegiate Athletic Association (HWIAA).  This past season, he captained the Bears to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) Finals Throughout his career, he has been rewarded for his exceptional play on the field.  Among the honours include Most Improved Player (2012), Rookie of the Year (2012), All-Star Selection (2013) and Steel City Bowl Starter (2013).

Not only has Gratton been successful on the field, but in the classroom as well.  The student-athlete has been on the Honour Roll four consecutive times and currently has a 90 percent All-Academic average.

“Nik is another outstanding student in this year’s recruiting class,” commented Sheahan.   “He has great size and intelligence and he has that blue collar approach to football that so many young men have growing up and playing high school football in Hamilton.”

“He enjoyed a stellar career at Glendale Secondary and will be a great addition to our club. He has huge growth potential and Very good feet. He will be a great CIS offensive line player.”

Gratton issued the following statement regarding his commitment to the Golden Gaels:

“The main reason to why I committed to Queens was their amazing prestige – academically and athletically in particular with football.”

“When I first arrived at Queens, I felt that it was a place of respect, hospitality and excellence.  I felt like I came to my second home, you can never calculate a feeling like that. You get at when you step foot on the campus for the first time.”

“Football wise, the program is no doubt a powerhouse. I’m honored to be selected as one of the three offensive line players for this year’s recruitment roster.  I’m coming into a team with the caliber to create magic.”

“I started football late, (13 years of age).   I played it just because I was big kid.  I started to fall in love with it when I started playing high school football.”

“I’m not a player that has been trained by high class professionals.  I’ve never had the opportunity to be trained.   I trained myself. I wanted to become the best I could be, so that one day I could have my moment – the moment when a dominant force like Queens shows interest in me.”

“The football team is like a big family. The moment I stepped into the gym, I was approached by players that didn’t know me, but treated me like one of their own.”

“I always believed that a great team consisted of great people. On and off the field, I found that at Queens. That’s what made me want to become a Gael over any other university.”

Matteo Del Brocco

MATTEO DEL BROCCO:

When the 6’0, 190 pound receiver from Kingsville, Ontario arrived for his official visit, he gravitated towards the environment of the Kingston, Ontario school.

“I choose Queen’s because of the magnificent university atmosphere,” expressed Del Brocco.  “I knew basically as soon as I got out of the car that Queen’s felt like home.”

“Academically, their commerce program is easily one of the best in the country. Then to top it all off they have a top tier football program that is very storied as well as an awesome coaching staff that I’m extremely excited to play for.”

Recently, Del Brocco suited up for the Cardinal Carter Cougars of the Windsor and Essex County Secondary School Athletic Association (WECSSAA) and the Essex Ravens of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

“Matteo is an outstanding prospect and a brilliant student,” said Sheahan.  “He is a Rob Bagg prototype.”

“He is fast, athletic, great hands and big play potential. He will be a great fit on our offence. I am delighted to have him with us at Queen’s. He Played for Cardinal Carter CHS in Leamington.”

Mitchell Henselwood

MITCHELL HENSELWOOD:

Academics as well as the familial atmosphere and strength of the football program are the main reason that the 5’9, 185 pound defensive back from Ottawa, Ontario committed to the Golden Gaels. Moreover, he will be following in family footsteps there.

“I chose Queen’s because it felt like home when I went on my visit,” reflected Henselwood.  “I really like the atmosphere the coaches create.”

“They’re great bunch of guys and I can see Coach Sheehan is a man who knows how to win. The academics at Queen’s are second to none and I felt I couldn’t get a better education anywhere else. The football program has always had a great reputation dating back to the days when my father went there.”

Among the teams Henselwood has played for include Ottawa Myers Riders of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) and both the  Bel Air Norsemen and Bell Warriors of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA).

In July 2013, the defensive back guided Team Ontario to a bronze medal finish at the Football Canada Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick.

“Mitchell is another Bell Warrior who has developed into an outstanding CIS prospect,” commented Sheahan.  “Mitchell also played for Team Ontario at the 2013 Football Canada Cup.”

“He is a scrappy player who likes to play physical. He is another great addition to this year’s defensive recruiting class. He is a great student and has already discovered the weight room. He is a great competitor.”

Conor Redmond

CONOR REDMOND:

The 6’5, 265 pound offensive lineman from Ottawa, Ontario has played for Ottawa Myers Riders of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) and the Bell Warriors of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA).

“I committed to Queen’s because it is one of the most prestigious academic schools in the country as well it has one of the best football programs in Ontario,” said Redmond of his commitment.

As for the Golden Gaels, the team sees a lot of potential with Redmond.

“Conor stands 6’5 and currently weighs in at 270,” assessed Sheahan.  “He has high hips and good feet.”

“He has significant growth potential as well. He is a great student who played football in the CJFL in his senior year in high school. He has the potential to be an outstanding offensive line player in the CIS. He showed good all round blocking ability and physical play. He is a very good acquisition for us here at Queen’s. He played for Max Paladino and Sandy Ruckstuhl on an outstanding Myers Riders championship team and from Paul Stewart and the Bell Warriors in Ottawa’s west end.”

FARHAN IMTIAZ:

The 5’10 180 pound defensive back from Kingston, Ontario made an appearance this past fall at the OFSAA Bowl Festival Series with the Frontenac Falcons of the Kingston Area Secondary School Athletic Association (KASSAA).

“Farhan was the top defensive back in Kingston in this year’s recruiting class and he enjoyed a great career at Frontenac Secondary,” commented Sheahan.  “The Falcons have been the dominant program in the Limestone  City for the past three years.”

“Farhan has the potential to contribute at several positions in the secondary. He has good size and speed and he is very intelligent. He was highly recruited by several schools and we are pleased he has decided to wear tri-colour for his university career.”

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