In the wake of injuries to both Alex Brink and Stephen Jyles during their last game against the Toronto Argonauts, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed three new quarterbacks to their rosters this week.
With playoffs out of the picture for the Bombers, the team hopes to look to the future and find a starting quarterback for the 2011 season. The team signed Zac Champion to their active roster on Thursday, as well as adding Justin Goltz to their practice roster earlier this week.
Zac Champion spent his 2008 and 2009 with the B.C. Lions, where he went 6-of-17 for 46 yards. Champion also had one touchdown and two interceptions. This past offseason, Champion was signed to the Calgary Stampeders, where he accumulated 94 passing yards. as well as a rushing touchdown. As well, Champion through for a total of 4,725 yards and 27 touchdowns with Louisiana Tech during his college career.
Justin Goltz was a three-year starter at Occidental College and became their starting quarterback in his senior year. Goltz passed for 1,832 passing yards and 11 touchdowns during the year, and added 599 rushing yards while keeping the Occidental College Tigers to an undefeated season.
After leading the Tigers to their third Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in four years, Goltz was named the 2008 SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Additionally, the Bombers added Frank Wilczynski earlier this week.
During Tuesday's practice with the Bombers, Goltz and Wilczynski were introduced to the CFL style of football, having to cope with new dimensions of the field, the number of downs, the size of the ball, as well as the extra player for both teams.
"It's really strange seeing an extra person on the field," said Wilczynski, a mobile prospect from Rowan University (Division III). "I mean, you don't really feel like there's 12 on offence but you feel like there's 12 on defence. It's tough."
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice didn't promise any spots at training camp to the new QBs next year, so this is being considered as more of an audition of sorts.
"I have to earn a spot to come here next year," said Goltz, who confirmed the next 10 days may be his only chance to make an impression on the Blue Bombers coaching staff.
Look to see the three rookie quarterbacks in action as the Blue Bombers head to Edmonton to face the Eskimos on Saturday night.