Montreal Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia sees a lot of potential in Ryth-Jean Giraud.
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“If he performs as we wish, he can become the equivalent of Sean Thomas-Erlington of the Alouettes”, launched the GM, a few days after selecting the running back in the fifth round (42nd overall) of the last draft of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
It's a flattering comparison when you consider that Thomas-Erlington has established himself as the Swiss army knife of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offense in recent years. The two running backs have a similar build. They are also capable of being a threat with their legs and via the air.
“Ryth-Jean can run the ball, can catch balls coming out of the backfield and can return kicks. It ticks a lot of boxes,” Maciocia said.
“I think he is a young man who has a lot of talent. He should be able to find success at the next level, but it's going to be up to him."
Maciocia knows Giraud very well, since he was his head coach during his first two seasons with the Carabins of the University of Montreal. The 25-year-old footballer thinks that may have contributed to the Alouettes drafting him, but he knows very well that means absolutely nothing for his future.
"It's in my hands and I have to take the opportunities that come my way. I know I have to show that I have my place in the CFL,” said Giraud, who is preparing for the start of Alouettes training camp.
“Danny made me realize that I had to be on my business,” he continued. He told me that I had the talent to make it happen. I have to know the playbook well and arrive at training camp healthy.”
As far as the playbook and professional ways are concerned, Giraud feels lucky to arrive in an environment where there are many familiar faces.
“I know the Alouettes staff well and several of my former teammates are on the team. I think it will make my job a little easier.”
With the “Als”, he will indeed reconnect with several former Carabins, including offensive players Kevin Kaya and Régis Cibasu. On special teams, it is his former coach Byron Archambault who is now the master on board in Montreal.