By Ryan Pyette
London Free Press
The London Beefeaters added 18 recruits — some from across Canada and others city high school powerhouses — to an already solid cast of returning players after the Canadian Junior Football League’s signing window opened this week.
The defending Ontario Football Conference champs expect at least 100 hopefuls to battle for roster spots if and when provincial rules requiring physical distancing and banning large gatherings are eased enough to allow training camps this summer.
“We expect to go in with four quarterbacks, four kickers, 12 offensive linemen,” Beefs coach Jesse Maddox said, “and those are good problems to have.”
The London squad even pulled from south of the border, with six-foot-two, 260-pound defensive lineman Jordan Fletcher and quarterback Devon Smith, who both played NCAA Division III ball at Western Connecticut State.
Local talent includes former South Lion Tyler Thompson, a six-foot-one, 210-pound linebacker with University of Guelph ties, and six-foot-one Western receiver Jack Bukich, who played high school ball at St. Thomas Parkside.
The OFC regular season usually starts in August, but emergency orders could delay kickoff until the fall. A traditional eight-game schedule is planned, but could be altered if necessary.