New head coach at McGill The Redbirds are reaping their

New head coach at McGill: The Redbirds are reaping their first dividends

The recent hiring of Alex Surprenant to lead the McGill Redbirds football program has paid off for the first time.

Linebacker Philippe Bouthot, coveted by Laval University's Rouge et Or and University of Montreal Carabins, the RSEQ's two powers, wanted to know McGill's intentions before confirming his university destination.

Surprenant was hired last Friday and spoke to Bouthot twice over the weekend. The Quebec native, who wore the McCallie School's Tornado Blue colors the past two seasons, made his decision on Monday.

“The school is the most important criterion for me, but I also wanted to know who the next head coach would be,” said the prospective finance student. I know Alex because he coached me with the Quebec team in 2022. That’s reassuring.”

Bouthot doesn't know the identity of the future defensive coordinator, but he's not worried. “Alex told me he had a few candidates in mind, but he didn't give me any names. “I don’t mind not knowing who’s going to take the job.”

The prospect of finding ground quickly also played a role. “In Laval, the linebackers are young and talented,” he said. Yes, the ability to see the terrain quickly weighed in. I think I can contribute in my first season on special teams and a little bit on defense.

The outside linebacker is aware that the Redbirds won't be competing for the RSEQ title next year, but is still confident about the future. “From next year we will have a better team,” he said. There are good players and the presence of a more dynamic coaching staff will help. I am also aware that it will be a process and that it will take us a few years.

Bouthot was very happy with his experience at McCallie and wanted to return to Quebec. “I have no regrets because I had a great experience, but it was clear that I wanted to return to Quebec. I didn't receive any offers from the NCAA and it was better to go back to Quebec than to go to a small American university where the academic aspect wouldn't have been the best.

A quick trader with the carbines

Bouthot's teammate, receiver Enrique Jaimes Leclair, also made his choice. He will continue his career with the Carabins. He also visited Laval and the Concordia Stingers.

“I wanted to come back to Montreal, close to my family and my surroundings,” he explained. I originally wanted to apply for the NCAA but didn't get any offers. Plan B was to return to Quebec. I was unlucky enough to miss the first three games with a knee injury. In my first season with the Carabins I will be learning both on the field and in school.”

“My experience outside of my family has been beneficial,” continued Leclair, whose brother Emilio has worn the colors of the University of Sherbrooke’s Vert & Or. I matured, perfected my English and developed great friendships. This experience will stay with me forever.”

Another Quebecer from the Tornado Blue program faces a decision. Defensive Back Choosen Lokombe would hesitate between McGill and Concordia.