Quinn van Gylswyk’s reaction to a life-changing event wasn’t conventional.
Van Gylswyk was golfing with family and friends at the Highland Pacific Golf Course near his hometown of Victoria during Tuesday’s CFL draft. The front nine of the round went well, with van Gylswyk shooting par.
The back nine didn’t go as well — and for good reason. That was after van Gylswyk was informed that he had been selected in the third round (26th overall) of the CFL draft by the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“After I got picked, my game went a little bit downhill,’’ van Gylswyk said from his Vancouver home. “I ended up shooting five-over par or something like that. It’s still not a bad day at the office considering everything (that was going on).’’
Van Gylswyk was the only kicker/punter selected in the draft. He also was the only kicker/punter invited to the CFL’s March combine, which may have contributed to him being selected during the draft.
It was at the combine where van Gylswyk met up with Riders special-teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson.
“I talked to Craig quite a bit at the combine and he was under the impression that I could be gone before they had a chance to take me,’’ van Gylswyk said. “He was pretty excited when I was still on the board. I feel that we will get along well.’’
There are a lot of reasons why the Riders like van Gylswyk. He spent three seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds, handling punts, placekicks and kickoffs. Van Gylswyk was named a first-team CIS all-star punter after averaging 43.6 yards in 2015. He connected on 24 of 28 field-goal attempts and averaged 53.5 yards on kickoffs.
Van Gylswyk hit on all four of his field-goal attempts in the 2015 Vanier Cup. He kicked the Vanier Cup winner for UBC when he connected on a 20-yarder without any time left on the clock in the Thunderbirds’ 26-23 over the Montreal Carabins.
“I feel that game helped my draft stock,’’ said van Gylswyk, who was successful on 17 of 19 field-goal attempts in UBC’s four-game post-season run.
Van Gylswyk has come a long way considering he didn’t play football in high school. He was a soccer player who showed a strong leg. Van Gylswyk was encouraged by his father to try football and he subsequently landed a position with the Westshore Junior Rebels.
Van Gylswyk spent two seasons with the Rebels, with whom he was a CJFL all-star in 2010 and 2011, before joining the Thunderbirds. His success continued at the CIS level. He connected on 46 of 65 field-goal attempts and averaged 42.5 yards on punts over 24 regular-season games.
The selection of van Gylswyk creates some competition for kickers at the Riders’ training camp. The Riders already have two nationals on the roster — kicker Tyler Crapigna and punter Josh Bartel. It would be to the Riders’ advantage in terms of the international-national ratio if one player could handle all of the kicking duties.
Van Gylswyk gives the Riders that option.
“Craig said that I could compete (as a placekicker) right away,’’ van Gylswyk said. “Hopefully then I could take on all three. That’s what I’m hoping for.’’
Photo: UBC kicker/punter Quinn van Gylswyk had a lot to celebrate after being selected in the third round of Tuesday's CFL draft by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Richard Lam / Vancouver Province