May 25, 2022

Mauger Goes From Bulldog To Lion

Taken from 2022 BC Lions Training Camp.

In football terms, Quincy Mauger has had a pretty solid year. Yes, he is currently one of the more productive defensive rookies as Lions camp trudges through the dog days in Kamloops. And speaking of canines, Mauger is also still riding high after watching his alma mater Georgia Bulldogs claim the College Football National title back in January.

Mauger’s Bulldog memories don’t involve many big Bowl game wins. However, he can say he was part of a pretty big win for the program. It came in his first start as a freshman in 2013 when the Bulldogs defeated LSU 44-41. The Tigers roster that year included Zach Mettenberger at quarterback and a couple of pretty prominent receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., whom Mauger was matched up against for most of that contest.

“Man, that was always a classic rivalry with those guys. That was huge for my development. We’re undefeated in my eyes. We proved it last year. National champs. Best program in the nation.”

With NFL practice roster stints in Atlanta and Oakland in between, Mauger has gone from Bulldog to Lion hopeful in Kamloops.

Former University of Georgia Bulldogs standout Quincy Mauger adapting to Lion life in Kamloops. The defensive back has shown well thus far.

Mauger Feeds Off Veterans

We’ve talked at length about the solid secondary upgrades that came about in free agency. The likes of Delvin Breaux Sr. and Loucheiz Purifoy were added to the veteran fold that already includes TJ Lee, Garry Peters and Marcus Sayles. Mauger is part of an intriguing group of CFL newcomers that have been in the fold since mini-camp. The native of Marietta, Georgia has enjoyed fitting in and having the older players take him under their wing.

“Just having all of these vets around me like GP (Garry Peters) and Marcus (Sayles) and all of them tap in with us, soaking up the game, it’s all great,” Mauger said.

“We’re very eager to learn. Having guys like that help guide us along; that’s very good.”

And having a position coach like Ryan Phillips show him the ropes also will do wonders for his development as a professional football player.

“It’s really good because he’s been in the game and has made plays. He knows how to do it and puts all of us defensive back in the right position to make plays.”

Mauger has also had to battle with the usual adjustments for Americans making their first foray into the three-down game. From the wider field to having an extra man out there, it’s certainly not an easy task for those who don’t study the film and the playbooks. At the end of the day, players know they just need to control what they can control.

“The only thing that doesn’t change is your effort level,” the defensive back said.

“As long as you’re running around with the guys, depending on the next man and flying around making plays, we’ll be good.”

Following a US Spring League stint at the end of 2020, Lions assistant GM Ryan Rigmaiden put Mauger on his radar and the defensive back was added to the roster in late January.

It’s always easy to quickly judge a new addition based on a solid performance in mini-camp. The fact Mauger has proven to hold his own since the veterans arrived last week has the team’s evaluators more excited about his potential.

“Quincy is an instinctive safety who can cover, hit and also shows tremendous ball skills,” Rigmaiden said.

“He’s a versatile player who can play multiple positions on the back end and can also be a contributor on special teams for us.”

Former University of Georgia Bulldogs standout Quincy Mauger adapting to Lion life in Kamloops. The defensive back has shown well thus far.

Game Action Beckons

The next big task for Mauger and all the newcomers will be to prove their hard work has paid off in live game action. With the squad preparing for a Saturday afternoon pre-season tilt in Calgary, a rookie-heavy lineup is expected to be featured. Mauger can’t wait to compete against players in different coloured jerseys.

“Every day is an opportunity and we’ve got to take advantage of it,” he explained.

“When that game comes on, it’s just another day to have iron sharpen iron and get better.”

You have to admire that mindset. After handling the task of containing LSU’s top receivers nearly a decade ago, no challenge should be too tall for Quincy Mauger. So far, he has enjoyed every chapter of his football life.

“Being able to play football allows you to mix in with different cultures and walks of life. Football is one of the best sports to bring that in and allow yourself to be open. I’m blessed to be able to play this game.”

Matt Baker: