BLG nominee Quinlan hoping for shot at CFL
By Ian Busby, QMI Agency
Kyle Quinlan would like nothing more than to kick down the door Brad Sinopoli opened slightly last year.
All Quinlan needs is a chance, just like Sinopoli.
Quinlan made the most of his opportunities in 2011, especially after his season got off to a rough start due to a three-game suspension stemming from a bar brawl.
When the quarterback returned to the McMaster Marauders, he led them on a remarkable run that culminated in a Vanier Cup victory over Laval Rouge et Or.
Quinlan's 482-yard passing, 106-yard rushing performance further put him on the radar for the CFL, and he hopes to hear his named called at next month's Canadian College Draft.
A year ago, Sinopoli was taken by the Calgary Stampeders out of Ottawa, and the QB spent the season on the active roster as the No. 3 pivot.
Finally, it seems, Canadians are getting chances at the pivotal position in the CFL.
"It's a positive sign for all young Canadian quarterbacks," Quinlan said. "He approached it the right way. He just tried to prove he was good on a level playing field. He sure did.
"If I'm lucky enough to get that opportunity, I will have to weigh the pros and cons of a fifth year at McMaster or sticking in the CFL. It would be a good problem to have if I'm fortunate enough to have it."
Considering everything that happened in 2011, Quinlan is honoured to be one of four nominees for the prestigious BLG Award, given annually to the best in CIS athletics.
Over five regular-season games in 2011, Quinlan averaged 342 yards passing, then he stepped up his game in the post-season.
In four playoff games, Quinlan led the Marauders to more than 40 points each time, with the victory over Laval becoming an instant classic for Canadian football.
The 41-38 double overtime victory looked like an early blowout as McMaster built a 23-0. Laval roared back, taking a 24-23 lead, but Quinlan put together a go-ahead drive and again put a TD on the board in overtime.
"Everything came together perfectly," Quinlan said. "It was a perfect storm for our team, especially the first half.
"We came out and jumped all over those guys early. We showed a lot of heart after they scored 24 unanswered.
"It was wildest game I've ever been part of and one people will remember for a long time."
Quinlan took part in Hamilton Tiger-Cats training camp last year, and he was part of the CFL Evaluation Camp again this February. All he needs is a chance to make an impression, and he feels ready to take the next step.
Considering how things looked for him personally last September as he was sitting out a suspension, he's come a long way.
"It was the lowest point in my entire life followed three months later by the highest point," Quinlan said. "My eyes were opened up to a lot of things through this process.
"Most importantly, to the people who stood by me when things were at it's worst. My family, teammates, coaches. Their support is all that matters to me three months when everybody else was back on my side after hoisting the Vanier.
"It was definitely an eye-opening experience."
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