The news came down early Wednesday morning; Maxime Latour had been released by the Toronto Argonauts, meaning that rookie Adam Guillemette was officially the team’s long snapper.
For the Latour move to happen so early in camp, it shows how highly the organization thinks of their rookie out of the College of the Holy Cross. Selected in the third round of this month’s CFL draft, the native of Cambridge, Ontario has performed up to the lofty expectations the club had for him.
“The velocity of the ball coming back is different, it’s very impressive,” Argos Special Teams Coordinator Mickey Donovan told Argonauts.ca. “Also, his mechanics. His depth on his sets for the blocks he has to make and his understanding of the system; the system is something very similar to what he played in college and he hasn’t blinked an eye. He hasn’t made one mistake yet. It’s really impressive.”
Being in his first pro camp has been an eye opener for Guillemette, who is learning a lot from the experience, particularly by watching the veterans.
“Everyone’s commitment to perfection and getting every rep perfect,” he told Argonauts.ca after Wednesday’s practice. “Especially in the specialists’ room. I always considered myself a perfectionist in college. I came here and being around and working with these guys, and with everything they’ve accomplished, and it’s obvious they’re at a different level and want everything perfect.”
That was obvious on this day as the rookie was working with punter John Haggerty on short snaps, as Haggerty is also the holder for placekicker Boris Bede. Haggerty was having a little problem adjusting to the velocity of Guillemette’s snaps, but a very slight adjustment in their positioning seemed to solve the problem.
“At this level; the game with how fast it is and how good the defences are, and how well schemed up everything is, those little six-inch differences matter,” said Guillemette, who is having no problem adjusting back to a CFL sized ball.
He’s not only enjoying his first training camp as a pro because of the overall experience, there’s an added bonus; he grew up as an Argos fan.
“It was my dream to be here,” said a broadly smiling Guillemette. “Everything fell into place perfectly. I had great conversations with the organization leading up to (the draft), everything was showing me it would end up like that and I was trying to keep my hopes up, but when it happened, I couldn’t be in a better situation.”
His first experience as a football fan was at an Argo game and he grew up as a huge fan of Ricky Ray, but it would be another former Boatman that helped him get to where he is now.
“Jake Reinhart was my mentor. He showed me the ropes at local kicking camps. We’ve kept in contact since then. I’ve looked up to Jake for many years.”
The Argos are hoping Guillemette can have the same kind of career his mentor did.
Latour’s departure means the end of the line in Double Blue for one of the team’s true characters. His early release was done in part to help him out.
“With Adam being a first-year guy in camp, repetition is key,” said Donovan. “Timing is key for him, the kicker, the punter; getting them reps together is what all three need. For Max, it gives him an opportunity to find another job. When you make those decisions later in the camp, sometimes that’s hard because everybody is making their final cuts. We appreciate everything Max has done.”
ARGO NOTES: Players were informed Wednesday morning of the latest round of cuts. Given their release were LS Maxime Latour, FB Joe Carbone, DB Parnell Motley, DB Devin Hafford, LB Chris Moore, DL Chris Rice, WR Will Vereen, RB Adam Cofield, WR Cyrus Holder and OL Daviyon McDaniel. DB Cody Hale was placed on the suspended list, while the club signed diminutive receiver Savaughn Magnaye-Jones from Western, a two-time First Team All-Canadian…Perhaps the most surprising release was that of defensive back Parnell Motley, but it wasn’t based on his play. He was injured on one of the final plays of Tuesday’s scrimmage, his first day in camp…It’s wasn’t quite Grey Cup week in Regina, but it was on the cool side on Wednesday. The temperature was 3C when practice began, feeling cooler with a brisk breeze.…Tommy Nield is having a strong camp. After he made another catch behind a defender, a teammate on the sideline said, “All Tommy does is run by people.” …Thursday’s practice schedule calls for early outs, warmups and stretching from 9:00-9:45. Practice runs from 9:45 to 12:45 at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium. Practice is open to the public and is free of charge.