Lions set to battle it out in Kamloops
As the BC Lions brief offseason draws to a close, GM Wally Buono has been hard at work trying to fill all the remaining voids on his roster.
Recently the BC Lions inked four receivers in Darnell Jenkins, Mike Moore, Juan Nunez, and Correy Earls.
In addition, Wally Buono also added Taylor Atwood, Nic Grigsby and Anthony Stewart, who all will fight for a spot at running back.
And just this week the Leos have come to terms with three of their four 2012 draft picks. Jabar Westerman, Matt Norman, and Jordan Verdone have all signed.
Lone hold-out, OT Kirby Fabien, has years of eligibility left at the University of Calgary and he will most likely return there we’ve learned.
All these signings have set the stage for some epic battles in Kamloops at this year’s installment of training camp.
While Travis Lulay will have the starting position locked up, look for a great battle at the back-up role. Corey Leonard will spar with Mike Reilly for that coveted spot.
Andrew Harris will be the main threat out of the backfield but there will be a number of running-backs looking for the right to spell him off.
The inside track should go to former Roughrider, and fellow Canadian Stu Foord.
Another intriguing battle will be at Fullback. While Tim Cronk and Rolly Lumbala will clash for the title spot, it will be interesting to see if the rumour mill is correct and we see rookie Jordan Verdoneswitch from his drafted position of Linebacker to get reps in at Fullback.
The O-Line will remain intact from last year. Like most spots on the offense, battles will rage for the back-up spots. Look to see if third round draft pick Matt Norman remains at the tackle position or if he will try to become the heir apparent to Angus Reid at center.
Finally on the offensive side of the ball we know that Geroy Simon, Akeem Foster and Arland Bruce will take reps at the first team receiver positions. If you’re looking for a diamond in the rough at receiver keep your eyes on free agent signee Mike Moore.
Moore is a 6’2”, 200lb burner from the University of Georgia.
Defensively, the Lions have to fill an open spot at middle linebacker. James Yurichuk will have to scrap it out with some of the offseason signings, most likely Beau Bell, to be the man in the middle.
2nd overall pick Jabar Westerman will be looking to prove himself against the likes of Eric Taylor and Sean Ortiz.
There is a spot available at defensive end, as well, since Brent Johnson retired. I suspect that Jeremy Geathers and Khreem Smith will both vie for this vacancy.
With thanks to Buono’s player acquisitions, Coach Mike Benevides will have his cupboards full of talent when camp opens on June 3rd in Kamloops, and the only thing hotter than the blazing Okanagan sun will be the internal competition as the Lions go looking to defend their Grey Cup title.
Go to http://bclions.com/page/training_camp for all BC Lions Training Camp info.
Cheers, The Bartender