York Lions land Myer’s Douglas
Not even a mask could hide the excitement Quinton Douglas felt Wednesday after signing a scholarship offer to play football for the York Lions.
“It’s super, super special and it is probably one of the biggest days of my life so far,” the Grade 12B student at A.N. Myer said, after a signing ceremony held in front of family, teammates and coaches. “It means a lot because all the hard work has paid off and I have finally got my dream.”
His dream came slightly more than two months after the nightmare end to his last high school season. On the first play of the Niagara Bowl against Notre Dame, the 18-year-old suffered a high ankle sprain.
“It was a tough time in the tent on the sidelines watching them play but I am proud of them. They had a good season and put up a good fight that game.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver realized he might have chance to play at the Ontario University Athletics level at the beginning of the 2021 season.
“Going to camps and stuff I started to get a good idea and then once I started talking to coaches it kind of sunk in that this was reality and I had a chance to do it.”
York was his perfect destination.
“They have a great, young program and I am super excited. The offensive coordinator Tommy (Denison) is great and I can’t wait to work in his offence. I had great visits and it just felt like home when I was home.
Douglas, who is planning to study science, also made visits to McMaster and Laurier before making his choice.
“It was the relationship with the coaches and it felt normal to be there. It was a gut feeling that it was the right place.”
Douglas was a linebacker in Grade 10 and the following summer he played receiver for the Niagara Spears.
“That is where I probably gained the most experience and developed the most,” he said.
He feels he has improved quite a bit in the last few years.
“Working every day in the offseason helped me,” he said. “I trained so much that when I got to the game it had kind of slowed down and I started to get the hang of it.”
His next step is to get bigger, faster and stronger and continue to improve his footwork.
“I am looking forward to campus life and the competition of being competitive every single day in practice. The kids are older than me and bigger and stronger and I love that atmosphere.”
His goal for his freshman season is to get playing time any way he can.
“Hopefully I can work my way into a role on the team where I can help it win.”
Denison is thrilled to land Douglas.
“He’s super athletic, long and rangy receiver and what he does really well is make plays no matter whether he is a receiver or getting the jet sweep,” he said. “When you look at York’s program, we are looking for guys who can be dynamic and that’s what he provides. It’s that ability to be a playmaker every time he touches the ball whether it be a run or a pass.”
Douglas will have to earn his playing time with York but Denison feels he will be able to compete for playing time at slotback in his first year. He sees a lot of similarities with Douglas and former University of Toronto All-Canadian Will Corby.
“He is tall enough and gifted enough to be a wideout but he has an ability that very few wideouts have which is that flexibility and body control to play in the slot and do it at full speed,” Denison said. “Offences are evolving and we are looking for guys you can more around the formation. He is a going to be a very good player for a very long time at York.”
Douglas will be missed at Myer.
“He went from starting to play football in Grade 10 to being highly recruited and I think being a future all-star at the university level,” Myer head coach Dave Buchanan said.
Buchanan didn’t peg Douglas for stardom when he first saw him at Myer.
“We knew he was a good athlete but he was just so raw. He actually went to Spears in Grade 10 and that’s where I think the fire came from. He saw how everyone else at a high level was playing and he decided that this is what he had to do and how hard he had to work,” he said. “He has always had some really good athleticism but he had the fever to work really hard. The bottom line is that his work ethic had taken him to a whole other level.”
Buchanan saw plenty of development in Douglas during his final year and the year lost to the COVID pandemic.
“His biggest progressions were that he got stronger, faster and he learned how to be a better receiver. He really worked on the craft itself.”