McGill commits ready to get to work

McGill adds two Québec commits and one out-of-province commit to their 2018 class.

Coming for the football and staying for the academics, wide receiver Xavier Asselin from Collège d’Alma and offensive linemen Tristan Gauthier from Collège de Valleyfield and Thomas Auringer from Belmont High School will be keeping busy both in the classroom and on the gridiron with McGill.

Xavier Asselin

Get ready for some big city living, Xavier Asselin. Currently residing in Alma, Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, a town of 36,000 people, Asselin will soon be living on the island of Montréal with its 1.95 million inhabitants. Drawn to McGill for to its academics, Asselin said he chose the university because it had the program he is interested in.

“I compared all the programs that could interest me in other universities and it is really bio-resource engineering at McGill that really pleased me,” Asselin said.

On the football front, Asselin said that the coaches “really seem to be thorough in what they do and (are) qualified. I think they are very good coaches with a lot of experience and knowledge.”

Standing at 5’7, 155lbs, Asselin is primarily a receiver and punt returner, however he has kicked as well. While with Les Jeannois du Collège d’Alma (RSEQ Division 3), he also played as a defensive back because the roster was thin. He began his career in his third year of high school with Les Lynx du Pavillon Wilbrod-Dufour (RSEQ) and has been playing for six years.

In his rookie season with Les Jeannois, he was rookie of the year. He is also a two-time all star. In his final season, he won an academic merit award.

Before starting football, Asselin played soccer and badminton. While with Les Jeannois, he was on both the soccer and football teams while studying natural sciences. Asselin kept busy. During the week, he had four to five football practices and two soccer practices. He then played one football game and two soccer matches a week. He received performance awards on his soccer team. On top of his 24 hours of sport, Asselin worked 11 hours a week. In whatever time he found, Asselin helped coach his former high school team in his second and third year of cégep.

Tristan Gauthier

Tristan Gauthier is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs and a medical student at McGill. “I chose this school because they give me the chance to accomplish my dream to play U Sports football and to be a doctor,” Gauthier said.

“It’s a great school in Montréal, one of the best in Canada. The team spirit is nice, and I believe in this team. It’s a great opportunity to be bilingual and the program fits with my values because football and school are both important,” he added.

A centre himself, Gauthier has been playing football for 14 years. Having seen many coaches in his career, Gauthier said that the McGill coaching staff “is very nice…(they) are competent and they made me feel welcome. They are winning guys and they want to win…they are passionate and competitive.”

The 6’0, 250lbs future medicine student spent his cégep career with Le Noir et Or du Collège de Valleyfield (RSEQ Division 2). In 2017, he helped his team win a Bol d’Or. Gauthier, who is form L’Île-Perrot, Québec, also received the ‘bourse du président.’

“I feel like I made the right decision,” Gauthier said. “I can’t wait to work with these guys. I’m ready to compete and help bring this program to the next level.”

Thomas Auringer

For Thomas Auringer, the flight to Montréal probably took longer than it did for him to feel welcomed by the team. “I committed to McGill because as soon as I got there I felt welcomed. The team was very inviting, and the coaches were incredibly nice and seemed to truly love what they do,” he said.

“The coaches are awesome. When we were eating dinner, they were cracking jokes about Fortnite and other video games,” he added. “I felt like they were guys I could truly work for over the next five years.”

Hailing from Langford, BC, Auringer felt right at home in Montréal. “The city of Montréal is also beautiful and the whole school and city just felt like the right fit for me,” he said.

Auringer is interested in studying English with the aspirations of obtaining his teaching certificate. He said that he knows there is a chance plans may change, but this is what he is currently thinking about.

In his ten-year career, the 6’4, 280lbs guard and tackle has played for the Westshore Warriors (GVMLA), the Victoria Spartans (VMFL), the Belmont Bulldogs (BCSSFA) and has participated in the 2017 Fox 40 Prospect Challenge. “I would really just like to thank all the coaches that helped me get my skills to where they are now,” Auringer said. “I truly owe all of you for that.”

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