Monday, 14 May 2012

What the Forcier Signing Means

In a bit of unexpected news, the Ticats have gone out and signed one-time Michigan starter Tate Forcier.

Being a diehard Notre Dame fan, I vividly remember Forcier leading the Wolverines to a thrilling comeback against the Irish in 2009. Notre Dame were up by four with 2:13 to go and Forcier led the Wolverines down the field for the winning touchdown with 11 seconds left to play. It was an amazing moment, and should have been the launching point for a stellar career. But injuries derailed his freshman year, and the Wolverines finished a disappointing 5-7 after a 4-0 start.

After that, Forcier took a back seat to another 2009 recruit, Denard Robinson. The man known as "Shoelace" took the starting gig from Forcier and never looked back. Robinson became firmly established as the quarterback of the Wolverines, even after Rich Rod was fired and replaced by Brady Hoke. Forcier then left Michigan, and after having a cup of coffee with San Jose State, was out of football altogether. It comes as a bit of a surprise that the Tiger-Cats would sign him.

In Forcier's favour is a skill set suited for the CFL. He can throw and isn't afraid to run, which are two big check marks in the positive column. But his physical tools have never been his issue; his problem has always been located above his neck. He was ruled academically ineligible for the 2010 Gator Bowl, and it is reported that the same issue led to his decision to leave San Jose State. Lucky for him, he won't have to attend class while playing for the Cats, but he will have to show a maturity and a caring for his craft that he has so far not shown.

The old saying goes "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and the Ti-Cats have nothing to lose by bringing Forcier to camp, but perhaps a lot to gain. The team is not resting its future on him, so allowing him to compete for a spot during training camp hardly hurts. But if he can revert back to the player we saw at the beginning of the 2009 college football season (which I understand is asking a lot), the Cats might have gained something significant.

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