LB Terrell Davis, DB Taylor Loffler and K Quinn Van Gylswyk invited to strut their stuff on NFL stage
There will be a distinct West Coast vibe to the New York Giants rookie mini-camp starting Thursday with three UBC football players headed east to strut their stuff.
Defensive back Taylor Loffler, kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk and linebacker Terrell Davis all received invitations from the NFL club, and all jumped at the chance to spend three days being evaluated at the team's training facility in New Jersey.
UBC linebacker Terrell Davis recorded 63 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 2 interceptions this past season. (Richard Lam/UBC)
"My agent called me up and said do you want to go to New York for the Giants mini-camp? I didn't know what to say. I was speechless," said Davis from his home in Victoria. "This is something I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid."
"It's amazing, just having the opportunity to go down there," said Loffler. "It's been my goal for a long time to make it in the NFL so it's a good stepping stone. I've just got to go and show them what I got."
Loffler and Davis are both coming off outstanding seasons with the T-Birds, and both have played NCAA Division 1 college football in the U.S, which likely helped them get noticed.
Quinn Van Gylswyk kicked a clutch, last second field goal to give UBC the 2015 Vanier Cup title. (canadawest.org)
Van Gylswyck's stock has been rising since he kicked the clutch field goal with no time left on the clock to give UBC the Vanier Cup title in November — the team's first in almost 20 years.
Canadian university players have mostly been an after thought south of the border, where football dominates and players abound. But increasingly pro scouts and teams are starting to looking north.
The Giants, more than any NFL team, have made a habit of searching for talent in Canada, something due in large part to their Toronto-born assistant general manager Kevin Abrams. Last year they invited 11 CIS players to rookie mini-camp.
New York Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams has won two Superbowl titles in his 15 years with the team. He is a Toronto native. (New York Giants)
UBC head coach Blake Nill says there's no doubt all three of his players can excel this weekend, as long as they're not intimidated.
"When careers worth hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line, obviously it brings a whole new competitive element. So there's going to be more high quality ballplayers there than they're used to seeing," said Nill.
"I think all three of them will compete well. Then it's just a matter of someone liking what they do, someone in the Giants saying this kid is worth bringing back to the next mini-camp."
Loffler agrees, and thinks the four years he spent playing at Boise State before transferring to UBC will put him in good stead.
"I'm familiar with how things are run down south," he said. "You just have to prove you have the ability and not give them a reason to let you go," said Loffler. "My overall goal is to try and get on as a special teams player ... and get invited back to the next mini-camp at the end of May."
"I just want to do everything I can to make plays and interceptions," said Davis. "Winning my one-on-ones and doing everything I can to stand out a little bit."
The New York Giants rookie mini-camp runs from Thursday to Saturday.
Cover Photo: UBC football players Terrell Davis, Taylor Loffler and Quinn Van Gylswyk are all heading to the New York Giants rookie mini-camp. (Richard Lam/UBC)