It's a fresh season for Carleton Ravens football - a new head coach, a new group of coordinators and a fresh set of downs. With head coach Corey Grant taking the helm the Ravens will look to turn the page in the always-competitive OUA.
While many things have changed for the Ravens one thing remains the same, veteran quarterback Tanner DeJong returns for a second chance at his fifth season. After season-ending surgery sidelined DeJong early in week 2 of the 2021 season, the Brockville product is ready for one last chance to dawn the black, white and red.
"To be able to have the opportunity to suit up again for the Ravens is something I'll forever be grateful for," explained DeJong. "I have a new appreciation for what it means to be a part of a team and I'm enjoying every single moment of the process with my teammates." The enjoyment of the process isn't lost on DeJong's new head coach.
Talking about his QB1 coach Grant recognizes the value of having DeJong back for another season. “Tanner brings a presence, not only on the offensive side of the ball, but he brings leadership to the defensive side too," DeJong's impact goes far beyond his presence, he's playing an important role in shaping the team's culture ahead of the 2022 season. "He holds everyone to a high standard. You can see it every day in how he prepares, watches film, and helps the young kids in his group."
While DeJong is back, so too are some familiar faces. Wide receivers Kerwin Guiste and Kaseem Ferdinand lead a deep receiving core that will need to make up for the departure of Ottawa Redblacks draft pick Keaton Bruggeling. In the backfield, the Ravens return one-third of their 2022 triple-threat with Joshua Ferguson leading the charge. With the graduation of all-time leading rusher Nathan Carter, Ferguson will be looked upon to set the pace for an impressive group of backs.
The returning Ravens will be taking calls from a new voice this season as long-time Ravens coach Josh Sacobie takes over the role of Offensive Coordinator. Sacobie, who will also continue to serve as the quarterbacks coach, has a strong room to work with as DeJong is joined by second-years Tristan Lefebvre and Tristan Rinaldis as well as rookies Justin Shibley and Zacharie Georges.
Despite losing Winnipeg Bluebombers draft pick Charles Lavallee, competition is tight on the Ravens defence. The Ravens return an impressive core that includes Cole Hepburn, Joachim Christian, Sandor Mod and OUA All-Rookie Nathan Clark. Joining the Ravens defence is local rookie Brody Burke, a standout with the Cumberland Panthers and Notre-Dame-de-Foy defender Christopher Toupin.
On Progress in Training Camp...
“Guys are starting to understand the standards of where they are and where we want to be. It’s exciting, guys are coming in and flying around the field and you can feel the energy in the building.”
On what to expect from his team...
“The expectation is to go out and play good clean football. To show up on game days and outwork the other team. We’ll let the scoreboard take care of itself, but we will come out, outwork and execute.”
* Tickets for the Panda Game will be on sale through TD Place this September *
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