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Brendan Ginn comes home to go to university
Posted: April 16th, 2013 @ 9:16pm
By CLAUDE SCILLEY
Usually it works the other way around.
Typically young men graduating from high school are tempted by the lure of leaving home for college. Not often, Brendan Ginn admitted, do they go away for a year and come back home to attend university and play football - as he formally committed to do Tuesday at Queen's.
A 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman, Ginn played for the Holy Cross Crusaders before departing last fall for the Niagara Academy in Niagara Falls, Ont. The program brings Canadian players together to play a season of American-rules football, with an eye to exposing them to recruiters from NCAA schools.
The team played games throughout the U.S., in such places as Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
"I was really excited to play American football for a year, move away from home for a year," Ginn said. "We had a really good time. We lived in a big house. It was definitely a different experience but I'm happy to come back home."
Ginn returned to Kingston in December. "I was considering moving out west, going to Simon Fraser, but I just kept getting a good feel from Queen's," he said. "Their Commerce program is the best in Canada, from what I've heard. I had a good relationship with the coaching staff and I wanted to be part of the tradition."
Gaels coach Pat Sheahan is always happy when, as he said, he has to look up to lecture his offensive linemen.
"He's the kind of guy everybody's had circled for a couple of years now," Sheahan said. "The first thing you notice is he's got great height, long arms, and he's athletic for a big guy. He's obviously smart, to get into Commerce. We're happy to get him."
Sheahan knew he wasn't the only recruiter on Ginn's doorstep.
"He thought long and hard about this," Sheahan said. "For a while he was leaning towards leaving town and then he got accepted in Commerce here and it caused him to do a little bit of a rethink. Queen's Commerce is a great opportunity, above and beyond football, and we're delighted that he's here."
Ginn said the decision to come to Queen's had both academic and football components, but ultimately his reasons for doing so were "mainly academic."
"Becoming a Queen's Commerce grad you're going to be well off," he said. "With football I had a lot of friends of the team, it's a good program, and there's a long tradition of offensive linemen coming from my school."
In addition to linemen such as Jon Landon, Sean and Matt O'Donnell and current Gaels Mike Sullivan and Josh Prinsen - Ginn graduated with Prinsen's younger brother - Holy Cross has sent a number of other players to Queen's, among them aspiring receiver Corey Flude.
Flude and Ginn have been neighbours and buddies for a long time. "He was a big part of convincing me to come here," Ginn said.
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