Boise State Alumni Begin CFL Campaigns
June 26, 2015

BOISE, Idaho – Five former Boise State football standouts will be in action while one will be coaching from the sidelines this weekend as the Canadian Football League opens its 2015 campaign.

Michael Atkinson (Hamilton Tiger-Cats), Jerrell Gavins (Ottawa REDBLACKS), Jon Gott (Ottawa REDBLACKS), Brandyn Thompson (Ottawa REDBLACKS) and Winston Venable (Montreal Alouettes) take to the field for their respective teams while Ryan Dinwiddie serves as running backs coach for Montreal.

The 18-game CFL regular season ends the weekend of Nov. 6-8, with the Grey Cup Championship scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 29.

Atkinson, a four-year letterwinner for Boise State (2009-12) and a 2012 first-team All-Mountain West selection, begins his second season at defensive tackle for the defending East Division champion Hamilton Tiger-Cats tonight at Calgary. Last year, Atkinson, a defensive tackle, returned to game action for the first time since his season-ending knee injury at Boise State in November 2012, playing in eight games and helping Hamilton to the East Division crown and an appearance in the Grey Cup Championship, where the Tiger-Cats fell, 20-16, to Calgary.

Gavins (2009-10, ’12), Gott (2007-08) and Thompson (2007-10) got their 2015 campaigns underway Thursday night in Ottawa’s 20-16 victory at Montreal. Gavins, a second-team All-Mountain West choice in 2012 and now beginning his second season in Canada, recorded a tackle for the REDBLACKS in the secondary. Gott, on the offensive line and beginning his seventh CFL season and second with Ottawa, and Thompson, one of Boise State’s 2010 Fiesta Bowl standouts and member of the 2010 All-WAC Second Team, each saw action. Thompson begins his second season in the CFL after making 57 tackles and intercepting four passes for Ottawa in 2014.

Venable, a two-year letterwinner at Boise State from 2009-10, began his third season with the Alouettes in Thursday night’s opener, registering a sack among his six tackles in Montreal’s 20-16 loss to Ottawa.

The two-time All-WAC selection, a nickel during his time for the Broncos before moving to linebacker for the Alouettes, made 52 tackles and recovered four fumbles in 2014, including one that he returned 59 yards for a touchdown. Over his two-plus seasons in Canada, Venable has returned two fumbles for touchdowns.

Dinwiddie, the former Bronco quarterback from 2001-03, began his first season as Montreal’s running backs coach, and second on the Alouettes staff, Thursday.

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