When you think of the game of football, you traditionally think of North America. Canada and the United States are the main countries for football, mostly because they are the only two countries with football being played at every single level. The two countries see football being played from youth football and high school all the way up to University and professional ranks but there are a number of countries out there that also play football, one country for example is England. England is known for its soccer, and always will be like most international countries and continents, though over recent years we have seen a substantial growth in its football. The newest sample for football fans to see for that would be George Reynolds, London born quarterback who, announced last week, signed with the University of Ottawa Gee Gees.
Reynolds had dreams of playing University football in North America since he got serious about the sport at 13 years old and following a few seasons playing with the Great Britain National Team and competing with the NFL Academy in London so being able to officially sign with the Gee Gees was a “dream come true” he said, “Its been a long journey but to have the opportunity with Ottawa is amazing and I’m very thankful for all the help I have gotten from everyone. I can’t wait to go to Ottawa and prove myself.”
The journey may sound easy when summing up his years with the Great Britain National Team and NFL Academy into one sentence but its taken years of hard work for Reynolds to now have the opportunity across the pond with the Ottawa Gee Gees where he will now be coached by U-Sports and CFL great Marcel Bellefeuille and the hard work, the countless late nights training, constantly getting better are all to his advantage. When he talked about his best traits on and off the football field he couldn’t stop talking about the mentality and work ethic he has. One quote from George that really stuck out in my interview with him was the following, “I am ready to prove myself at the next level. I have been preparing for an opportunity like the one I have in Ottawa with coach Marcel for a long time and I believe my work ethic and my mental strength to never give up can help me become a good quarterback and improve the people around me.”
In Ottawa, at the quarterback position Reynolds will be able to help improve the people around him but will also be able to get help to continue his progression as a football player. He adds to his previous comments, “In the Academy (NFL Academy) I had the best coaching available to me, from people that really understood the game of football and it helped me understand the game to the point where I am strong physically and mentally. I can now play quarterback at a high level thanks to all that I have learnt from the coaches I’ve had already but now being able to come to Ottawa I will be able to get coached by some of the best University coaches in Canada like Marcel (Bellefeuille) which is something I am excited about.”
After signing with the Ottawa Gee Gees earlier last week, the England born quarterback has been busy doing calls with a number of media personalities around Canada and the U.S starting with an NFL Films project on George Reynolds, followed by many articles and videos about the news. One thing that he mentioned in a lot of his interviews including the one I had with him was the reason behind his decision with the University of Ottawa. Ottawa wasn’t the only school to offer Reynolds, along with a couple Canadian Universities the Gee Gees were competing with a few NCAA division two schools that offered the quarterback a scholarship as well as a walk on opportunity with the University of West Virginia, a division one program known for recruiting international talent like second team Freshman All-American from a year ago Akheem Mesidor of Ottawa. Reynolds said Ottawa “felt like home” when he made the decision, “There are a lot of schools out there and a lot of great football programs that I could be playing for but when I got the offer from Ottawa I felt a different connection than I did with other schools. The coaches, Marcel and the rest that I talked with understood me and it felt like home. I didn’t want to go to a school where I didn’t belong and after talking with coaches and people from Ottawa, learning about the culture in Ottawa and the football there too I knew that Ottawa was somewhere I wanted to be.”
Reynolds will be flying across seas to play for the OUA’s Ottawa Gee Gees this summer and ahead of him is another 5 years of University Football in Canada where he, has an international student, will be able to prove himself and make his ways to the professional ranks.