With the 2015 CFL Combine (Mar. 27-29) and CFL Draft (TBA) approaching on the offseason calendar, TSN.ca profiles some of the prospects who could be taken this spring. When looking at photos of Jacob Ruby, the first thing you notice is his massive size. At 6-7 and 315 pounds, he definitely cuts an imposing figure. But what really stands out is his ever-growing beard. It kind of just happened - I started it two seasons ago, Ruby explained to TSN this week. I told myself I wasnt going to touch anything until we went to the playoffs and win a national championship so, that didnt happen that year and then I told myself I would keep it through the next season and Ive done that so people are saying I cant touch it because its part of me so I guess its staying for a while. While he hasnt sported the beard too long, his imposing size has almost always been present. Growing up in London, Ontario, he tried to play every sport he could. But Ruby soon realized that football was where he was best suited. I kind of outgrew hockey, he said. Once I realized when I played football that it was a sport more suitable to my size and my build, I realized I could use that to my advantage in the sport and I kind of fell in love with it. After playing in high school and club teams in London, Ruby was recruited by American prep schools - noted for helping high school athletes attain athletic scholarships to Division I programs. He chose Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, a school thats seen 70 players drafted into the pros. The culture shock was immediate. It was very different, Ruby recalled. The first training camp practice we had at Fork Union, it was like 90-plus degrees out and just so hot - and the way they do everything with two-a-days. You come in two weeks before school for training camp - just the way they go about training camp - every detail for football is completely different. From Fork Union he went to the University of Richmond, a Division 1-AA school where he started early and reamined as a starter through his collegiate career. It was challenging, said Ruby. And then in my redshirt freshman year I started from then on out. I did play pretty early, so it was challenging to evolve to that level of play. Once I got used to it, my body got right and I got bigger. I kind of took the mold of an offensive lineman and it went from there. Being a four-year starter is very rare in NCAA football and Ruby credits his coaches for his learning and development in Virginia. It was awesome, he said. (Virginia) is the start of the deep South so its a little different culture especially towards football. You start in Virginia and as soon as you go further South, football is that much more bigger so it was good. Going to different stadiums, playing different teams and seeing how big of an event it is that youre playing in - it was really cool. While being a four-year starter was impressive in its own right, playing at left tackle is even more so. Ruby - a converted tight end from high school - has decent athleticism for a man his size playing his position. And that athleticism helps at his position. Tackle is harder than guard or centre because youre in space vs. congestion, explained TSN CFL Analyst and former left tackle Chris Schultz. Good space blockers are tough to find and good congestion blockers are much easier. You can always move a tackle to guard. A move from guard to tackle happens, but not often. Ruby wants to play at left tackle when he turns pro which - in the CFL - is normally a position reserved for import players. Ruby making it in the CFL as a tackle would definitely have a bearing on any teams roster numbers. Left tackle is a ratio breaker because (of) how the league has changed the distribution of Canadian talent, added Schultz. In my day, left and right tackle was 90 per cent Canadian. Now it is 90 per cent American. The reason is because its a dominant one-on-one position. If youre not competent at left tackle, the quarterback pays a price. A good Canadian left tackle is gold. Currently the tenth-ranked prospect for this springs CFL draft, Ruby will be back in Canada at the CFL Combine in March where teams can evaluate him - and his beard - in person. Authentic Darren Helm Jersey
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. - The New Orleans Saints have re-signed receiver Joseph Morgan for one year and have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent fullback Erik Lorig.Its tough enough for the Blue Jays to be playing in the American League East to get even a sniff of the postseason. Then youve got to worry about the other up and coming teams in the two weaker divisions in the "Junior Circuit". If you had to peg one team whom the Blue Jays will have to reckon with in 2014, it would be Kansas City. The Royals finished with an 86-76 record a year ago and missed the playoffs. However that record was 12 games better than the Jays 74-88. One bad month really cost KC a spot in the playoffs a year ago. They went 8-20 in May. Every other month, they were over .500 including 17-10 in September. Kansas City scuffled a bit to score runs in 2013 averaging four per game, but the Blue Jays werent all that much better at 4.40 runs per game. The big difference was in runs allowed by the starting rotation and the bullpen. The Royals starters had an ERA of 3.87 to the Blue Jays 4.81 which was well above the American League average of 4.17. As highly touted as the Blue Jays bullpen was, its ERA of 3.37 was no match for the Royals 2.55. This is in part because of the Royals spacier ballpark, but KC only gave up 155 home runs over the course of the season to the Jays ugly total of 195. If you want to talk team speed, the Blue Jays stole 112 bases, which was better than the league average of 95, but the Royals were even better swiping 153. You could argue the Royals will be even better in 2014. Although they lost Ervin Santana as a free agent, they added durable lefty and former Angel Jason Vargas to plug into the rotation. They also have an elite closer in Greg Holland who saved 47 out of 50 a year ago and a workhorse starter to lead the rotation in James Shields, who through 228.2 innings last season. The Royals also upgraded at second base and right field. They filled a major hole at the keystone by signing former Tiger Omar Infante to a four-year deal worth $30.25 million and traded for speedy right fielder Norichika Aoki, who will take over as their leadoff hitter. KCs secret weapon might just be 22-year-old right-hander Yordano Ventura. Though only 511", he throws consistantly in high 90s and has been known to hit between 100 and 102mph on occasion. Hes already earned a spot in skipper Ned Yosts rotation and is being touted as one of the top candidates for rookie of the year. Since Pittsburgh made the playoffs last season, Kansas City and the Blue Jays are the two teams that have gone the longest between post-season appearances. The Royaals havent made it since they won the World Series over St.dddddddddddd. Louis in 1985. The Blue Jays of course, havent made it since winning their second straight World Series in 1993. The Blue Jays play the Royals seven times this season, from April 29 through May 1 in Missouri and then back in Toronto from May 29 through June 1. Those are seven games of their first 58 that could well prove whether the Jays are good enough to contend for a Wild Card spot, or which team of these two will wind up with the longest postseason drought when the 2014 season is all said and done. Around Spring Training Injuries turned right-hander Josh Johnson into arguably the biggest disappointment of the Blue Jays season a year ago. Unfortunately his luck hasnt changed much in San Diego. The 30-year-old right-hander is going to be out 4-to-5 weeks with a strained right forearm. Tough blow for the Texas Rangers. Their young second baseman Jurickson Profar is out 10 to 12 weeks with a slight muscle tear in his right shoulder. Profar was expected to shoulder the load at second since Ian Kinsler was dealt to Detroit as part of the Prince Fielder deal. Profar hasnt proven himself as a big league hitter yet, but his glove and arm are world class. Yes, its only spring training, but the Yankees have got to be a bit concerned that Derek Jeter is only hitting .114 and Mark Teixiera only .120. Great to see David Ortiz is probably going to end his career in Boston. After all hes been pretty much the face of the franchise for the last 10 years. Ortiz agreed over the weekend to a one-year, $15 million extension for 2015. He also has a vesting option for 2016 and there is a club option for 2017 by which time Ortiz will be 42 years old. Erik Bedard is looking for new gig. The 35-year-old southpaw and native of Navan, Ontario opted out of his deal with Tampa Bay after the fifth starters job went to 24-year-old Jake Odorizzi. Bedard just didnt want to go back to Triple-A at this stage of his career. Experienced Help We mentioned a couple of articles ago that a former Blue Jays third baseman, Roy Howell, was managing in Triple-A this season at Tacoma. Now another Ex-Jay, Tom Lawless, has taken over as interim manager at Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League. Lawless will be filling in for Ton DeFrancesco who was diagnosed with cancer while working in the parent Astros camp this spring. DeFrancescos cancer was caught early enough that he is expected to make a full recovery. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys
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