Combine the size and farm-tough work ethic instilled from a young age in Linden Gaydosh and it’s almost as if he was constructed and nurtured to become a man among boys on the football field.
|Nill high on Gaydosh|
Uof Calgary Head Coach Blake Nill
Gaydosh - the University of Calgary defensive lineman ranked number three on the CFL scouting bureau list among all 2013 draft prospects - grew up in Peace River, Alberta where he worked on the family farm and family run construction business.
“It taught me how to do hard work. The only way a hard job is going to get done is by actually doing it. There’s no point in whining and complaining you’re just going to drag the job out longer,” Gaydosh said.
His family runs a cash crop operation on approximately 1,500 acres of land in the prairie province. Canola, wheat and barley are the main grains grown on the Gaydosh land. And whenever there is down time, while the crops are growing or in the winter, the focus shifts to the family owned construction business – never a shortage of work to be done.
“Generally farm kids are more responsible. Their work ethic is higher because they’ve been associated with work since they were young children,” Dinos head coach Blake Nill said.“He’s a very responsible young man, you don’t have to say to Linden over and over you have to get this done.”
Growing up, when Gaydosh wasn’t working he was playing sports. Baseball, track and field, and like most Canadian kids, hockey.
“My dad used to avoid the football field on the drive to the hockey rink during the fall because he didn’t want me to see it and get excited,” Gaydosh explained. “He played football for the [CJFL’s Calgary] Colts. He never wanted me to play football because he got speared in the back and was paralyzed for a short while, but he managed to recover in a couple of weeks.”
As much as his dad, David, didn’t want his son to play the contact sport, there was a teacher and football coach who wanted him to play just as badly. Chris Friskie taught Gaydosh in grade seven and happened to be the Peace River High School football head coach as well. Friskie pestered Gaydosh for almost two years and he finally agreed to attend spring football camp with the Pioneers before his grade nine year in high school.
“My first practice, we’re running an Oklahoma drill [a tackling drill], first play I hammered a kid,” Gaydosh recalls. “I had no idea what I did. Everyone was cheering and I just fell in love with football from there.”
Did dad approve?
“He wasn’t happy when he found out the football coach in town convinced me to play,” Gaydosh explained.“But he accepted it once he realized that I was better at it and had more of a future in the sport than I did in hockey because of my weight and my size.”
Gaydosh went on to start on the defensive line in his grade nine season and through his high school playing years developed into a highly sought after university prospect. He wanted to stay and play his university football somewhere in western Canada so his family could watch him. He was heavily recruited by the University of British Columbia and in province schools such as the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.
“Coach Nill told me I wouldn’t be a starter – he didn’t blow any smoke,” the beefy defensive lineman said. “By him telling me that it was motivation for me – I was just like alright I need to prove to this man what I can do.”
“He obviously cared about the program and it was just the right fit.”
Low and behold, even though Nill didn’t guarantee him a starting spot during his recruitment to the Dinos program, Gaydosh started from game one when he arrived on campus. In fact, he went on to win the Peter Gorman Trophy as the CIS Rookie of the Year after his freshman season in 2009. Part of a Calgary defence that allowed a Canada West low 94.2 rushing yards per game in his rookie campaign.
No ego hindered Gaydosh’s development after he burst onto the Canadian university football scene in his first season at Calgary. His farm-type work ethic wouldn’t allow complacency to set in and has helped him develop into one of the premier defensive lineman in the country.
Although, both coach and player recognized that a hefty appetite might be holding Gaydosh back from reaching his highest level of potential on the field.
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