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Kingston’s Tyler Filson to dress for first game with McMaster

August 24, 2013

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Kingston’s Tyler Filson will dress for his first university football game tomorrow in Hamilton.

Filson, a freshman at McMaster, will be the backup to fellow Frontenac Secondary School alumnus Marshall Ferguson when the defending Yates Cup champion Marauders host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Ontario University Athletics season opener for both teams.

“Tyler has been competitive from Day 1,” Marauders coach Stefan Ptaszek said during a break in training camp this week. “None of this is too abstract for him. He’s very familiar with spread offensive concepts. He’s got a great arm and a great presence in the huddle.

“There’s no way you could tell he’s only been here for five days.”

Seeing such poise so early was no surprise, Ptaszek said.

“Not at all. His last high school game, watching him and Mitch O’Connor shred high school defences, you knew he was going to be ready to play.”

Filson said that after the initial nervousness, he’s begun to feel comfortable in the university milieu.

“Coming in I wasn’t too bad because I know a lot of the guys from Frontenac,” he said, “so that made me feel a little bit at home but after six days of camp, getting into the flow of how they run their offence, guys have been pretty nice to me so it’s easy to fit in and do my job. It makes life easy.

“It’s an advantage for me because (Frontenac) had a similar offence but it’s definitely a lot faster pace. I’ve had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to the speed but I think I’m getting into the rhythm now. It’s just a matter of making a lot of the right reads before you snap the ball and just execute.”

Though Frontenac is a perennial provincial power and the Falcons last year were in the midst of another National Capital Bowl championship season, Filson was not hotly courted by university recruiters. Possibly that’s because in his final year of club ball in 2012, the Kingston Grenadiers did not have a successful season but in any case, Filson said he wasn’t bothered by the lack of attention.

“My Grade 12 year I got approached by a lot of schools but I turned down all offers because I was coming back for another year of high school,” he said. “My last year I only got approached by a handful of schools but I was pretty set on coming here, anyway, because they treated me really well. They really wanted me to come here so they gave me the red carpet. It was an easy decision for me.

“I wasn’t letting it get to me. I knew I was good enough that I was sure I would get some offers, and I did, but really, if I was going to choose any school, Mac was going to be the school so it didn’t really bother me that much. It’s good to have a bunch of schools looking at you but I’d rather have the one school that I really want looking at me rather than a handful of schools that I don’t really care for.”

Filson, who will be studying social science, got an early vote of confidence from Ferguson, the man who will be his mentor for the next two years.

“His reads have been really sound and I think that comes from the coaching at Frontenac,” Ferguson said. “Certain high school coaches, if you’re a super-freakish athlete they’ll let you get away from your reads and give you an ‘Atta-boy’ every time you score a big touchdown.

“Coaches at Frontenac are very discipline based and they’re very focused on doing things the right way, so he knows what he needs to do to be successful. He knows he has to follow his reads and he has to get the cadence right and he has to know what everybody’s doing and not just be focused on himself. Those things have carried over very nicely to here.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. He’s going to be really good.”

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