Varsity Blues commits ready to help team rebuild

Toronto adds three GTA commits and one Hamilton commit to thier 2018 class.

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues are on a mission to rebuild their team back to its former glory, and Kieran Coppens, a defensive back from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, and Matt Evans, a wide receiver from Abbey Park High School, are ready to be apart of the movement.

Linebacker Jackson Dick from Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School and lineman Nicholas Milutinovic from Cardinal Newman Catholic High School will also be joining the Varsity Blues.

Kieran Coppens

For Kieran Coppens, there was a lot to like about the University of Toronto, the strong academic programs and support, the training facilities, the school itself. But, there was one thing in particular that caught his attention.

Courtesy of Kieran Coppens.

“What really convinced me was the strong coaching staff that I believe are ready to turn around the program and make it very successful for years to come,” he said. “By first meeting them, I knew they were ready to continue the strong history of UofT to change the program for the better.”

Coppens, who is interested in taking life sciences, added that, “With a new head coach with Coach Marshall and educated coordinators, they made me feel comfortable in how I can learn to be apart of the system and feel comfortable with them. As well, they emphasized the importance of making sure I have the help to balance football and my education.”

When the 6’2, 190lbs corner and safety visited the school, “I quickly realized it’s where I would want to be,” Coppens said. “I’m just excited to start my football and academic career with UofT.”

Coppens began his career in the Kinsmen Minor Football League where he played for two seasons in grade seven and eight. In high school, he joined the Holy Cross Hurricanes (COSSA) for two seasons before the team merged with St. Pete’s to become the Holy Saints Crusaders. In his victory lap, the Hurricanes program was revived. He also played rep football with the Peterborough Wolverines (OFC) for six seasons and will be entering his seventh season with the club.

The product of Peterborough, Ontario, is a two-time MVP with Holy Cross. While with the Wolverines, he has been a three-time championship finalist in 2013, 2015 and 2017. “Hope to finally win it this year,” Coppens said. “My only championship win was with the Chargers (KMFL) in grade 8.”

Matt Evans

Courtesy of Matt Evans.

When it came to sports, Matt Evans wasn’t involved in football until half way through high school. “I wasn’t introduced to football until later in life and I have my coach and teacher, Mike Linton, to thank for that. Being a former receiver himself, he taught me everything I know about football and helped me pick up on the game very quickly,” he said.

Evans began his career in grade ten with the Abbey Park Eagles (Halton Secondary School Athletic Association). He won a Tier 3 Halton championship with the team in 2016.

Now entrenched in the sport, Evans decided to pursue it at the university level. It didn’t take him too much time to figure out which school was for him. “I knew UofT was the school I wanted to attend since the day I toured their campus this past summer. I love the atmosphere of being surrounded by historic buildings and how it’s located in the heart of Toronto,” he said.

“The first time I met the coaching staff they welcomed me into the UofT family,” he added. “Most of my communications were with Coach Carter who made my decision to sign with UofT very easy and comforting. I also got to tour the campus and facilities with Bob Mullen who explained the Varsity Blues’ new mindset of rebuilding with a younger team, which I am excited to be apart of.”

Evans, who is 6’0, 170lbs, has lived outside of Toronto his entire life in Mississauga, Ontario. He is well aware of the academic prestige of the university. “Obviously, academics comes first and is a major reason for choosing UofT,” the potential Rotman commerce student said. “Getting the opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the country is an honour.”

Jackson Dick

Jackson Dick grew up in Burlington, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Ontario. He played as a outside linebacker and defensive end with the Burlington Stampeders (OPFL) in his two seasons with the team. The 6’0, 200lbs athlete also played as a fullback and linebacker with the Dr. J. Frank Hayden Huskies (HSSAA).

Nicholas Milutinovic

Born in the steel city, Nicholas Milutinovic spent his high school career with the Cardinal Newman Cardinals (Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association) in Hamilton, Ontario. He also played with the Hamilton Varsity Tiger-Cats (OPFL). He stands at 6’3, 295lbs.

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