TORONTO – Toronto Argonauts non-import, rookie wide receiver, Julian Feoli-Gudino has experienced incredible success over the course of his young football career. The 25-year old, San Jose, Costa Rica native grew up in Montreal, Quebec and played five seasons with the Laval Rouge-et-Or from 2007-2011. He assisted in leading the team to five consecutive years atop the CIS rankings (Canadian Interuniversity Sport). Gudino treasured his time in the Laval program and he admits that any time he stepped out onto the football field he could feel the pressure that comes as a result of being a member of the Rouge-et-Or.
“It was an honor (to play in Laval). There is a big tradition down there and even though the program was pretty young when I was there, it was about keeping up the winning tradition. It is an amazing program and we have great fans that constantly support us”, said Gudino following a recent Argonauts’ practice.
Julian finished his career with the Rouge-et-Or as the second-leading receiver in CIS history with 238 catches. He also ranks twelfth in receiving yards in CIS history with 2,756.
Gudino’s best statistical season as a member of the Rouge-et-Or came in 2008 when he recorded 65 receptions for 785 yards and four touchdowns. His 65 receptions were second most ever in a single CIS season. Gudino was also able to capture his very first Vanier Cup title in 2008 and he was a major difference maker in the Laval victory. Gudino was named MVP of the 44th Vanier Cup as he recorded an 82-yard receiving touchdown along with a 74-yard punt return touchdown against the Western Mustangs.
Julian owes much of his CIS success to Laval’s legendary Head Coach, Glen Constantin. The Laval bench boss has an all-time coaching record of 75-15 with the Rouge-et-Or and Gudino says Constantin prepared him exceptionally well for his journey to the CFL.
“I think he prepares you well (for the CFL) because you learn to take the game really seriously. You focus in meetings, develop a good work ethic, and you are well prepared. It is easier when you come to the CFL because you know how things work”, said Gudino during a post practice interview.
Gudino won two Vanier Cups and played in three over the course of his five-year tenure with the Rouge-et-Or. His final game with Laval came in the 2011 Vanier Cup against the McMaster Marauders. Gudino recorded ten catches for 106 yards and one touchdown in the game. However, the Marauders defeated the Rouge-et-Or on a last second field goal in double overtime to win the 47th Vanier Cup.
According to Gudino, being a member of the Rouge-et-Or makes every single game a big game. Therefore, you can certainly learn how to play well under tough circumstances.
“I’ve always wanted to win championships because that is what football is all about and going to Laval made every game a big game. You learn to deal with pressure and there is not a lot of CIS teams that have 16,000 fans in the stands to support you”, said Gudino.
The Argonauts drafted Gudino in the fifth round of the 2011 CFL draft. Julian was thought to have first round talent. However, a major ankle injury derailed his value and lowered him to a fifth round selection.
Gudino participated in the Argonauts’ rookie camps earlier in the summer but he sustained a leg injury which later resulted in Argos’ GM, Jim Barker, releasing the six-foot, 204-pound receiver.
On August 14, 2012, the Argos’ re-signed Gudino and immediately added him to the team’s active roster. He has yet to appear in a game this season but he remains patient and is ready to take on any role that the team requires.
“I just want to help the team wherever they need me. I’ve always had that mentality. I hate losing and I will do whatever the team asks me to do. I’ll do my best and just leave it all on the field”.
It is evident that Julian Feoli-Gudino possesses a “team first” mentality and has immense respect for what the Laval football program has taught him. He understands how to be a winner and it does not matter what role he has on this Argonauts’ football team, his main priority is continuing a “Winning Tradition” that began back in Laval.
– Daniele Franceschi –