Making His Mark; CFL's Ottawa REDBLACKS Sign University of Utah Long Snapper Keegan Markgraf
The Ottawa REDBLACKS have finally put pen to paper and inked a long snapper, announcing the signing of Canadian Keegan Markgraf! Let's discuss that;
This is a significant signing for the REDBLACKS as they lost their long-time long snapper Louis Phillipe-Bourassa to the Montreal Alouettes at the start of the free agency period. I was interested in finding out who the REDBLACKS were going to sign, however, many had speculated that Markgraf would join the team before the end of free agency. Keegan Markgraf (pronounced mar-graph) was originally drafted by the Ottawa REDBLACKS back in 2021 with Pick No. 42. The Hamilton-born long-snapper played with Central Michigan but didn't see any game action until 2018 when he transferred to the University of Utah, where he won the starting job late in his first season. During his college career, Markgraf never missed a game until his senior year, when he suffered a torn ACL and two torn meniscus, which ended his season after just 6 games. Despite this setback, Markgraf had an impressive resume, snapping the ball 210 times without a blocked kick or punt (87 Punts / 31 FG / 92 PAT)
The Ottawa REDBLACKS had enough foresight to realize that they may lose Bourassa (To FA or even retirement) and they took a shot on a guy who was injured in his senior year. Markgraf is a Canadian, which satisfies the Canadian-ratio rule, and at only 25 years old, he has plenty of room to grow as a player. Markgraf is extremely consistent and dedicated to his craft and can be seen here honing his skills just 3 months after his surgery. He is also confident in his ability as a player that can immediately contribute to a professional football team, stating this during this pre-NFL draft interview;
I believe I am the top long snapper in the 2022 NFL Draft because of my commitment to every aspect of the game. I snap a smooth, accurate, consistent ball. I have the size... (and) am long levered. I am able to get my head up and see my blocking responsibility quickly. I am also able to understand leverage in order to complete my blocking assignment against bigger and stronger opponents.
Overall, this is an excellent signing for the REDBLACKS, providing Lewis Ward and Richie Leone with a proven long-snapper to get them the ball. Markgraf is a player who coaches and front offices won't have to worry about on or off the field, and is an exciting addition to the team.
As you come to the end of this article, I hope that you have found it informative and engaging.
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