The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees recruited Vernon’s Tanner Bishop via Facebook.
He made the Gee-Gees look like social media geniuses after being named to the Ontario University Athletics Conference (OUA) All Rookie Team.
Bishop, an offensive lineman who played high school for the Fulton Maroons and Junior A for the Kamloops Broncos, impressed coaches with his athleticism and strength at right guard.
Although a mid-season injury cost him some playing time, Bishop looks to be a key member of the Gee-Gees’ offensive line going forward. Bishop, transitioning from junior football to university, saw great success on a Gee-Gees’ O-line that was trying to establish their rhythm.
“A highly-touted recruit from Vernon, Bishop impressed with his athleticism and strength at right guard,” said a release on the Gee-Gees website. “Although a mid-season injury cost him some playing time, Bishop looks to be a key member of the Gee-Gees’ offensive line going forward.”
Tweeted Bishop: “Super happy to say I made the OUA All-Rookie team. Many thanks to a lot of people especially my mom and Coach (Jamie) Tolmie! The future is bright!”
The Gee-Gees lost 30-7 to the Guelph Gryphons in OUA quarterfinal play Saturday. Both teams finished the regular season at 5-3.
In camp, Bishop secured the starting job at right guard for the Gee-Gees, a breakthrough that was years in the making, but something that Bishop had worked particularly hard for this offseason.
“I was sent a 10-week offensive line workout program that I stuck right to. There were a lot of new movements, but I think it helped raise my athletic ceiling.”
His offseason prep was showcased in the team’s fitness testing, when he blew away the coaching staff with 28 consecutive reps of 225 lbs. in the bench press.
“I was a little upset,” said Bishop, who wanted to set a new team record. “The record is 31 and I wanted to get 32.”
Despite his feelings, his head coach was impressed by Bishop and the caliber of athlete his team has gained.
“He’s a really intense kid and quite a recruit,” said Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi. “You see a guy that strong, they usually don’t come with the aerobic conditioning and anaerobic explosiveness, but he seems to have it all. It’s impressive to watch.”