VANCOUVER – Four Thunderbirds will be looking to hoist the Grey Cup in 2016, following their 2015 Vanier Cup championship with UBC. When the CFL season opens this week CFL rookies Quinn van Gylswyk (P – Saskatchewan Roughriders), Taylor Loffler (DB – Winnipeg Blue Bombers), Mitch Barnett (DB – Hamilton Tiger-Cats), and Terrell Davis (LB – Hamilton Tiger-Cats) are all looking for the rare feat of adding a Grey Cup ring the year after topping Canadian university football. As well, Dominique Termansen (DB) has been offered a spot on the Montreal Alouettes practice roster.
"When you bring five players into the CFL from one roster it indicates this was a special group of young men in 2015," says UBC Head Coach Blake Nill. "Hopefully this will build the momentum and help us continue to send several players to the CFL once their CIS careers and academic careers are finished."
The players will now need to make the transition from CIS student athletes to being full-time professionals. The transition is more mental than physical according to Nill.
"These guys are good enough athletes to handle the physical adjustments, it's more of a mind-set," explains Nill. "All of them are athletic enough to play at that level, but for them it's all about the ability to do it consistently. The length of the season is a factor. They will be playing eighteen games and it's all about winning and losing. Hopefully we've prepared them at UBC to take on those challenges."
Dominique Termansen #43 DB Montreal Alouettes 8June2016
The five Thunderbirds entering the CFL this year join two other UBC players already in the pros. Both Cody Husband (OL) and Jas Dhillon (G) are former TBirds currently on the BC Lions roster. When you add the five 2015 UBC players to the the mix, there are now an astounding 22 CFL'ers who spent time under the tutelage of UBC field boss Blake Nill.
The CFL season kicks off on June 23rd when Davis and Barnett travel to BMO field with the rest of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a match-up against the Toronto Argonauts. UBC's first regular season game goes Sept. 3rd when they host the Alberta Golden Bears at Thunderbird Stadium.