TORONTO – Daryl Waud’s arms are a little bruised from carrying bags, among other added daily responsibilities, but that’s all part of being a rookie. Now five days into training camp, the former University of Western Ontario standout wouldn’t have it any other way.
To suggest that Waud, who was selected 12th overall in the 2015 CFL Draft, is as happy as a kid in a candy store would be a massive understatement. The realization of his dream of becoming a professional football player has yet to sink in.
“I was shopping with my girlfriend and I was like, ‘Oh, the real world is still going on outside the bubble that we’re in as pro athletes’,’” commented Waud following a recent Argonauts’ practice.
As excited as he is to be an Argonaut, Waud remains focused on familiarizing himself with the Boatmen’s comprehensive defensive philosophy. Simply put, he’s taking everything in stride and has adopted a day-by-day mentality.
“I knew there was going to be a learning curve,” stated Waud. “It’s a grind but everyone has to go through it.“
The six-foot-five, 275-pound rookie credits his coaches and teammates for his rapid on-field development.
“Each day I find myself getting better and better,” declared Waud. “The quickness and explosiveness off the ball is a big adjustment. Veteran guys like Ricky Foley are always giving me tips on how to try different techniques or what might work against certain players.”
The Hamilton native and, admittedly, a longtime Tiger-Cats fan, fell in love with football in Grade Nine and is following in his dad’s footsteps. His father, a former Laurier Golden Hawk and Argonaut draft pick, provided the foundation for Waud’s journey to the CFL.
“As a kid, my dad, brother and I always threw the football around and went to Ticats games together,” said Waud.
Childhood allegiances aside, Waud’s loyalty is now strictly with the Double Blue.
“I stopped being a Ticats fan on May 12th,” proclaimed Waud. “These are the guys that drafted me and this is where I want to win a Grey Cup.”
Comforting words to say the least, but make no mistake about it, the Labour Day Classic is clearly circled on this Hamiltonian’s calendar.
“Playing in Hamilton is going to be a surreal experience,” said Waud. “Having the opportunity to suit up against some of my old buddies and having friends and family in the stands is definitely going to be cool.”
Written By: Anthony Ciardulli