Like any noble treasure hunter will know, great finds are often where you least expect. The same sentiment can be made for the head of the BC Lions personnel staff GM Wally Buono.
With all the off season activity in the CFL the most impactful transaction probably happened right here in BC with trade with Edmonton, where the BC Lions lost their valuable backup QB Mike Reilly. Buono and Coach Mike Benevides have been left searching for a high-quality number two option behind CFL All Star Travis Lulay.
By default, the reins appear to go into the hands of Thomas DeMarco but there should be a heated battle for the coveted back-up role as Jarrett Brown will also vie for the number two rank.
I’m sure that the coaching and personnel staffs haven’t stopped looking for other options either. Most likely, BCJFL all-star Jordan Yantz of the Vancouver Island Raiders will likely get a call back to camp, even though he is slated to join the University of Manitoba squad for the 2013 campaign.
Yantz was recently named the Junior player of the year for his outstanding 2012 season.
But sometimes you have to look further than your own back yard if you want to find to a real gem. With the free agent market on QB’s less than sparse and no real game-breaker emerging in the draft, the Lions brass will look to evaluation camps to bring in some additional depth.
These evaluation camps are open to anyone willing to participate and prospects will be put through a gauntlet of tests and drills. Anyone showing above average talent may be asked to report to the Leo’s main camp in Kamloops.
The Lions will host several of these camps in the upcoming weeks with schedule posted here:
While there are reports that these camps often do draw some “extraordinary” talent. Like the 59 year old who tried out for Roughriders wearing a ripped T-shirt and jorts. Some prospects will eventually find themselves on a professional roster. Such as the case with Lulay, who himself was gleaned from one of these camps.
This may be the year where BC has to do some extra groundwork to load up the talent pool.
And while these tryouts are may seem like Craig’s List ads for people seeking roommates, there is also a little Hollywood feel to them as dream chasers may just prove themselves worthy enough to earn a paycheck.
So maybe, just maybe there’s an Uncle Rico out there somewhere who just may be wearing Lions colours in the near future.
Lord knows true life is stranger than fiction.
Cheers, The Bartender