TORONTO — A wild few months for Jermaine Gabriel has started to pay off.
After impressing in both the Regional and main CFL Combines enough to be selected in the 2013 CFL Draft, the Toronto Argonauts announced today that Gabriel, along with fellow draft picks Michael Di Domenico and Paul Spencer have signed contracts with the team.
“We are very happy to sign three of our draft picks and bring them to training camp. Jermaine Gabriel is a tremendous athlete who grew up near Toronto. He played one year for Calgary in the Canadian Junior Football League and was named the Prairie Conference MVP. We expect him to compete hard and be a solid contributor on special teams,” said Argos GM Jim Barker.
“Michael Di Domenico is a big-body player who also comes from the Toronto area. He is a tough guy who we think can contribute on our offensive line and we’re looking forward to seeing at training camp. Paul Spencer is a player that special teams coordinator Mike O’Shea is very interested in. He has the chance to be a strong contributor on special teams for the foreseeable future, and those types of athletes are very difficult to find,” he continued.
Gabriel, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, was selected 17th overall in 2013 CFL Canadian draft. He was the first person in CFL history to be selected to move on from a regional combine to the national combine. Most recently, Gabriel played with the Calgary Colts of the CJFL where he was named the Prairie Conference MVP after recording 28 tackles and four interceptions.
“Dreams really do come true! If you really want something there is no reason why you can’t go and get it. I’ve always dreamt of being a professional athlete and now I am. I can’t wait to join the Argonauts organization,” said Gabriel.
Di Domenico is a native of Burlington, Ontario where he attended M.M. Robinson High School. He was selected by Toronto 52nd overall in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft. He spent two years on the offensive line at Tarleton State University in Texas after transferring from Saddleback Community College in California.
“I am excited for the opportunity to play for my hometown team – the team that I rooted for as a kid. It feels great to come back home and join the Grey Cup champions,” he said.
Spencer, a native of Kelowna, B.C., was selected 60th overall in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft. Most recently, he served as a graduate film assistant for Concordia University’s football team. He played two years for Concordia and saw his best season in 2010 when he collected 31 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in nine games.
“It is a dream come true to be able to play football professionally, and to be drafted by the reigning Grey Cup champions. It was surreal to sign my first contract. It hasn’t hit me yet, but I am sure it will when I get on the field,” commented Spencer.
The club also announced today that it has signed free agent non-import OL Josh Prinsen out of Queen’s University. Prinsen played 5 games for the Gaels during his senior season in 2012 and was part of a line that paved the way for more than 1,600 team rushing yards.