The BC Lions welcomed their rookies to their Kamloops training camp today and Friday this year’s crop of talent will get their first chance to show the coaches they should stick around until the main camp gets going on the 3rd of June.
Yes, the CFL season is upon us once again which means things are going to be getting busy here at BCLionsDen.ca.
In the first of our series of training camp previews we’ll look at a few rookies that we think may be worth keeping an eye on during these first couple of days of training camp, 2012.
#99 – Jabar Westerman – DE
Well duh, right? The Lions have really been playing Westerman up since the draft, so all eyes will be on the newest #99 in club history. If he’s the real deal, the Lions have may have found a replacement for Brent Johnson in short order not only talent wise, but ratio wise. Of course he’ll have to earn that comparison, but by all accounts Westerman has all the tools and the Lions would love for him to show well in camp and force them to give him solid reps off the rush end position.
#43 – Jordan Verdone LB/FB
Another 2012 draft pick, the Calgary Dinos linebacker sounds like he’s going to start his CFL career as a fullback. According to reports, the Lions will look to groom him as a backup to starter Rolly Lumbala. However before that, look for Verdone to show his football skills on special teams. Following the draft coach Mike Benevides referred to Verdone as “Just a really good football player,” which indicates his versatility could be his ticket onto the roster.
#16 – Thomas Demarco – QB
While some teams have struggled to do so, the experienced Buono has usually thrived at finding and developing quarterbacks in the CFL. Whether Demarco will be the next great find for the club remains to be seen of course. At 5’11 and 200 pounds, Demarco is described as an effective rusher with a strong and accurate arm. He’ll start camp 4th on the club’s depth chart behind Travis Lulay, Mike Reilly and Cleo Leonard. Junior quarterback Jordan Yantz of the Vancouver Island Raiders has also been invited to camp.
#59 –Matthew Norman – OL
The Lions liked the size and the toughness when they drafted Matt Norman in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. At 6’3”, 317 pounds the team feels he’ll be able to handle the toughness of the pro game. He’ll be auditioning at guard. The decision of 2nd round pick Kirby Fabien not to sign with the Lions and return to school will mean more reps for Norman.