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Alfieri’s Day 10 training camp notebook: Tyrell Richards is healthy, the new 87

Tyrell Richards

The Alouettes felt so strongly about Tyrell Richards going into the 2022 CFL Draft that they traded up from number four to number one overall to select him. As soon as he arrived in Montreal, you could tell he was a freak athlete and a good football player.

Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just seven games during his rookie season. This year, he wants to show that he has all the tools to become a valuable Canadian starter on defence.

“My biggest goal is to come in and start,” Richards said on Tuesday. “I want to be able to earn that position and carry it throughout the season. Staying healthy is obviously the big one. In the offseason, pretty much all I did was rehab plyometrics so that my body could withstand all the contact with the ground and other people.

“I have never had to deal with major injuries that have kept me out for a long time. It was definitely a different experience, but I think I handled it well and got myself right to be in the best position I can this year.”

Even though he missed more than half the 2022 season, the 24-year-old still flashed his potential in his limited playing time. He also showed that he could make an immediate impact on special teams, as he made four tackles while playing on that unit.

“(I bring) speed and physicality,” he added. “I think those are my biggest things. When I’m out there, I like to run through people, I like to bring some energy. If I can do that, I can get the sideline hyped every time I’m out there, that’s what I plan to do.”

A new number 87:

Rookie receiver Quartney Davis had never been outside of the United States, but that all changed this year. He and his girlfriend went on a trip to Mexico during the offseason and he followed that up by coming to Canada for Alouettes training camp.

Not only did Davis show up to camp, but he also arrived earlier than most. The 25-year-old took it upon himself to show up to Montreal one week before the start of camp, so that he could get acclimated to his new surroundings.

Quartney Davis

“I kind of wanted to come here for a week so that I could get a feel for what it would be like,” Davis, who is wearing number 87 for the Als, said. “When I got here, I got really close to (William) Stanback, and he literally showed me Montreal and he showed me how to use the (metro train). It was about getting myself warmed up for what’s to come here. It was the best decision I ever made. The food was amazing, the weather here is amazing.”

Davis is no stranger to playing in big games. Prior to his stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts, he played NCAA football for Texas A&M. He played in a lot of big games, but one of the ones that stands out the most was the shootout against Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers in Nov. 2018.

Davis caught seven passes for 101 yards and two majors, including a touchdown pass in the seventh overtime period of the game to tie the score, 72-72. Texas A&M converted the two-point convert to win the game, 74-72.

“I would say that that game was all about mental toughness,” he said. “That’s one thing I love about coach (Jason) Maas, I feel like he preaches mental toughness, and bringing us closer together as a team. I feel like that’s the reason we won. We had a mentally tough team, and we were close knit. When it came down to it, LSU was tired, and we were able to push through with the love that we had for each other.”

Davis is one of many receivers vying for a spot on the roster. He missed last Saturday’s scrimmage due to injury, but he’ll have an opportunity to prove himself in Friday’s preseason game in Ottawa.

“First and foremost, I want to win,” he said of Friday’s game. “I want the team to get a win, whether it’s preseason or not. It’s fun to win. Nobody likes to lose. For me personally, I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent on my assignments. I feel like if I do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

Notes:

  • The Alouettes have signed defensive back J.R. Reed (Georgia). He’ll be wearing jersey number 45 during training camp. In a corresponding move, they have released American offensive tackle Jauan Williams.
  • Kaion Julien-Grant made a pair of incredible catches on Tuesday, including an over-the-shoulder grab down the right sideline.
  • Rookie linebacker Alec Poirier, who played his college football with the University of Laval, made a nice interception. Cornerback David Rivers also had an interception.

Coming up next:

The Alouettes will practice at Stade Diablos on Wednesday morning at 9:15am.