December 6, 2019

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Top 10 Bomber rookies to watch

11It's that Rain Man-esque knowledge of personnel — and his accompanying list of thousands of players on his database — that led to new head coach Mike Kelly tapping him on the shoulder for help when former GM Brendan Taman unexpectedly resigned this winter. And Bomber fans will start to get a look at some of Murphy's recruits Wednesday afternoon when rookies hit the field for the first time.

Now, usually at this time of year we'd lean on Taman for a list of 10 rookies to keep an eye on when the CFL freshmen first step on the turf, but the new regime does not want to single out any player in particular. That won't stop us from soldiering on, however, and here's 10 players Free Press football writer Ed Tait is eager to see live and in the flesh (in no particular order):

No. 44 Thaine Carter, Canadian linebacker

The 411 on Carter: Named the President's Trophy winner as the top defensive player in Canadian college football last year. Queen's captain who saw his draft stock drop because of a pre-combine calf injury. He'll push for work primarily on special teams, but will also get a long look over the next three days at his linebacker spot.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sf_C79Q7sY

No. 9 Darrell Hackney, import quarterback

The 411 on Hackney: If nothing else, we just want to see Hackney rifle the ball with or into a stiff Prairie wind because his arm strength is legendary. A former 'project-type' player under ex-Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, he is said to be a Michael Bishop type physically whose Wonderlic (intelligence) test scores were mighty impressive.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baAT5jQQZg0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD-fkpqiNK0

No. 49 Bradley Pierson, import kicker

The 411 on Pierson: What would a Bomber training camp be like without the accompanying kicking subplot? We'll get a first peek at Pierson with vets Alexis Serna and Dan Giancola not stepping onto the field until Sunday. Finished with a 38.8-yard average last year at North Carolina State and earned the nickname 'Sticks' for his ability to place punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

No. 38 John Eubanks, import defensive back

The 411 on Eubanks: Outstanding speed and he'll be one of the major players as the Bombers rework their secondary. The added bonus is Eubanks was a superb kick-returner in college who was signed by the Washington Redskins because of his skill in that department. A two-time Conference USA all-star who was the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2004.

No. 20 Peter Quinney, Canadian running back/fullback

The 411 on Quinney: Expected to battle with converted defensive tackle Jon Oosterhuis for the fullback job. Quinney, drafted this spring, was Wilfrid Laurier's Impact Player of the Year last season and is one of those multi-purpose special-teams demons every team needs.

Video: http://servali.net/peter-quinney-high-lights -2009/-/99,81,89,100,75,119,122,49,52,69,48

No. 93 Don Oramansionwu, Canadian defensive tackle

The 411 on Oramansionwu: Winnipeg product who was the Bombers' fifth-round pick in 2008 and starred at the University of Manitoba. He'll get great instruction from D-line coach Richard Harris and one day — if Doug Brown's game ever shows signs of decline — could be the big man's replacement in the trenches. A second-team All-Canadian last year.

No. 35 Yvenson Bernard, import running back

The 411 on Bernard: Interesting to see how the Bombers handle a superb prospect like Bernard, especially with Fred Reid and Joe Smith apparent locks in the backfield. This former Oregon State star — second in career rushing at the school to Ken Simonton — comes highly recommended by former Bomber head coach Mike Riley and his name will be tracked by a couple of other CFL teams looking for backfield depth.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCqiN5sJC9I&feature=PlayList&p=F6695D2A7720BE5F&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=39

No. 36 Patrick Body, import defensive back

The 411 on Body: Big guy at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds and he'll be worked at a number of different positions during camp. Primarily a corner/safety, he's had NFL stints with Cincinnati, Minnesota and Detroit.

No. 64 Mike Morris, Canadian offensive lineman

The 411 on Morris: Every CFL coach loves their homegrown O-linemen to be big and beefy and the 6-foot-4, 300-pounds-plus Morris — the Bombers' first pick this spring (19th overall) — is not a guy you want to be lined up behind in the chow line. A three-year starter at UBC.

No. 56 Chase Ortiz, import defensive end

The 411 on Ortiz: Tough to crack the Bomber roster at end with established CFL stars like Gavin Walls, Fred Perry and Riall Johnson already dominating the depth chart. But this two-time all-conference star from Texas Christian has a motor that just keeps revving. Plus, Perry is 34, Johnson is 31 and Walls is 29, meaning there could be work here for anyone who makes a great first impression.

Video: http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/nfl-draft/NFL-Draft-Chase-Ortiz-Highlights-423;_ylt=ArbGomQK5zzZyygBUgiXfRQh7qB4

— Tait

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