Guelph Gryphons grab Gilbert
The Guelph Gryphons announced a big addition to their football program Wednesday.
In front of a gathering of teammates, classmates, coaches and his parents at Saint Michael in Niagara Falls, 6-foot-3, 257-pound Carson Gilbert signed on the dotted line to pursue his post secondary football career with Guelph.
“I am so excited,” the Grade 12 student said. “There is no way to measure how excited I am.”
Gilbert, who played defensive tackle, defensive end, fullback and offensive tackle for the Mustangs this past season, realized university ball was a possibility for him last year.
“A couple of coaches came up to me and then I went to Guelph to see them play,” he said. “What a place it is. I loved it.”
He loves most everything about the program and Guelph.
“It was the facility, how well-equipped they are for the team and I have a lot of family in Guelph and that was another big factor. And, of course, the uniforms are awesome.”
Gilbert also had some interest from McMaster, Waterloo and Queen’s.
His goal for his first season of university football is simple.
“I just want to prove that I belong at that school.”
Gilbert is already starting to get ready for his first Ontario University Athletics training camp.
“I’m working out, doing drills and doing everything, including eating properly and doing well in school,” he said. “And when I get there, I am going to listen to the coaches and do what they ask me to do.”
Gilbert has been playing football for the past 10 years, but has never played football with any travel program in the summer.
“I feel too much football in the year can be a hindrance on you because there are more chances for injury,” he said. “It’s a sport where you have to have a recovery time. And with my brother (Nick) and dad (Don) helping throughout the year, I was able to get to this point.”
Gilbert also thanked all the coaches he has had at Saint Michael, including Keith Bomberry, Loris Lucchetta, Brian Carter and Mark Antonelli.
“It’s really fantastic because he is going to my alma mater as well,” Antonelli said. “Doing this last year with Will Schmahl (at Saint Paul) and now Carson Gilbert, it looks like we are going to have a nice local contingent at the University of Guelph.”
Antonelli feels there’s plenty of attributes that Guelph liked in Gilbert.
“It’s his strength, his speed and his knowledge,” he said. “His knowledge of the game has grown immensely from the beginning of last year to now.
“He is also willing to try new positions and, on top of that, he’s just a good teammate and that’s what schools are looking for these days. They want good students and good teammates because unless you have good marks and are good in the locker room, it doesn’t translate well to the next level.”
Donnavan Carter, Guelph’s special team coordinator and defensive assistant, is delighted to land Gilbert.
“We are looking to bring young talent into the program and we have identified Carson as one of those guys who has a bright future and is a student/athlete who can flourish in our program,” he said.
Carter isn’t sure where Gilbert will make his mark at Guelph.
“There is a lot of time yet because we have to get him in the school and residence and get him in training camp,” he said. “Once we get him out there with our guys, we will see where he is at. He is a developmental player and our defensive coordinator makes the decision where everyone slots in.”
Carter feels special teams will also be a part of Gilbert’s future.
“We want the young guys to play special teams and his body type fits in certain spots,” he said. “There are some spots on special teams for him to compete for.”