Guelph commits know what to expect from coaches

Guelph adds a local commit and a GTA commit to their 2018 class.

When it came to picking a school, offensive lineman Connor Burke from Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School and kicker Jared Fernandez-Brown from Assumption Catholic Secondary School went with what they knew when they signed with the University of Guelph Gryphons.

Connor Burke

By Gerry Fraser.

Having grown up in Guelph, Ontario, Connor Burke has had a front row look at the Gryphons. Over his summers, he represented the Junior Gryphons in the OPFL, which provided him an introduction as to how Guelph’s coaches operate. “I’ve known the (Guelph) coaches and the players for a long time and the have mentored me throughout my football career,” Burke said.

“The coaching staff is very experienced, and they know how to get the most out of their players,” he added. “Their system and philosophy were right in line with what I was looking for and I look forward to working with them.”

Burke has been playing football for around five years. He has always had a soft sport for the sport. With his “can do” attitude, he will fit in well at Guelph. “I love to learn, especially when it comes to techniques and footwork from coaches,” he said.

Speaking of learning, Burke, who has aspirations of entering policing, is interested in taking criminal justice and public policy.

Standing at 6’4, 250lbs, the offensive tackle has also had experience playing on the defensive line with his high school team, the Bishop Macdonell Celtics (D10) and during his bantam days. In 2015, he won an OFC in his first year of junior varsity football as a right tackle. Last season, he was a D10 offensive lineman all-star.

When on his visit, Burke couldn’t help but admire his surroundings. “I also loved the facilities (at Guelph),” he said. “The pavilion blew me away on my visit.”

Jared Fernandez-Brown

Despite coming from Burlington, Ontario, Jared Fernandez-Brown has already had the chance to work with Guelph’s coaches. “I chose Guelph because I have been involved with their football team and coaches since last year, so I was familiar with the program,” he said. “I met Daniel Ferraro, the kicking coach, at a Team Ontario tryout early in 2017 and since then we have been working together so that I can play football in university.”

By Santa Woodcroft.

He added that, “Guelph’s coaching staff is one of a kind. They have coaches that are very experienced and friendly. They will work with you to become a much better player and always strive for greatness. Also, Guelph is one of the few universities that have a dedicated kicking coach, something that interested me.”

In the April of 2017, Fernandez-Brown was invited to participate in the Gryphon’s specialists camp. He was awarded the MVP award and was invited to the team’s homecoming game. He is a two-time participant in the Fox 40 Prospect Challenge. In 2013, he won the Halton junior football championship with the Assumption Crusaders (HSSAA). Two years later, he won a senior championship with the team.

In his five-year career, Fernandez-Brown has seen the field from a variety of positions. He has played as a kicker, punter, receiver, running back, kick and punt returner, corner and safety throughout high school. In 2017, he scored 18 touchdowns and his longest field goal was 47 yards. He has also played for the Halton Cowboys (OVFL) and the Burlington Stampeders (OPFL).

Alongside football, Fernandez-Brown, who will be taking psychology, said that “Guelph has a great education system with a program that I wanted to go into.”

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