Do YOU have what it takes?

The Eskimos announced the dates for their annual Open Tryouts in California this year and as soon as the Nation starts producing a couple of greenbacks, I will be commandeering a private jet down to Cali in my bid to make this year’s squad. The camps will be held at the College of San Meteo on Saturday, April 10th and at Long Beach City College on Sunday, April 11th. San Mateo what??? Long Beach where??? Not exactly open tryouts at USC or UCLA, but I guess in typical Canadian fashion, the Green & Gold decided to keep a low profile down south. Nonetheless, I will find these obscure little colleges, and in the spirit of Vince Papale, the special teams standout from the 1970s Philadelphia Eagles, I will run so fast that Richie Hall immediately cuts Arkee Whitlock, Tristan Jackson, and Lennie Williams so that your’s truly can play all three sides of the ball.  Wait..doesn’t the ball have four sides.  Now I’m confused.

In all seriousness, the open tryouts are one of the recruiting tools that CFL teams are forced to use to get exposure to players that might be willing to come up to the frigid north to ply their trade in the 3 down league. The tryouts in California produced two roster players in the form of middle linebacker Mark Restelli and receiver Jason Barnes. Not exactly household names, although Restelli was a full time starter for most of the season at MLB.

Expect anywhere from half a dozen to baker’s dozen of signings to come out of the two days down south however most of the players will be little more than camp fodder, if they even make it to Edmonton. Still, there is bound to be a gem out there somewhere, and it would greatly benefit the Eskimos to find it.

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