Taylor Loffler couldn't have conceived of a better farewell for his university football career.
The UBC Thunderbirds' thrilling 26-23 victory over the Montreal Carabins in Saturday's Vanier Cup final in Quebec City extended far beyond the former KSS star's expectations.
"It's a great feeling," Loffler said Monday from Vancouver. "For my first season in the CIS, to win the Vanier Cup, it's really just a dream come true."
The T-Birds, who went 2-6 last season, were given little chance of contending for a Canada West title, let alone a berth in the national championship.
But with the hiring of head coach Blake Nill and the addition of several key players, including Loffler, it all came together for the T-Birds in a Cinderella-like run to the CIS title.
"You don't really think you have a chance, then somehow it all starts to come together," said Loffler, 23. "The guys started to bond, they responded to each other and the coaches, and to be able to do what we did was really amazing. It's still kind of hard to believe."
After four largely frustrating years at Boise State in Idaho—and hindered along the way by injury problems—Loffler transferred to UBC this summer, hoping to put a positive spin on his fifth and final season of university football.
B.C. high school football's player of the year in 2010, Loffler stepped right in as starting safety with UBC and became one of the most dominant defenders in Canada West, leading the conference in tackles.
Not surprisingly, Loffler has no regrets about moving back north of the border to play the game he hopes to make a living at for years to come.
"I just wanted to come in here, prove myself, get some playing time and help the team win," he said. "It just all kind of fell into place, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my college career."
Loffler's performance through the 2015 season also has him back on the radar of professional scouts.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound safety is forecast as a good bet to be chosen in next June's CFL draft.
(Photo:UBC safety and KSS grad Taylor Loffler celebrates the T-Birds Vanier Cup win along with his parents (left), Jeff and Kim Loffler, and UBC head coach Blake Nill (right) on Saturday in Quebec City-Rich Lam/UBC