Calgary Dinos' QB Adam Sinagra set out to end U Sports career with Vanier Cup title
2018 Hec Crighton Trophy winner motivated by return to home province
University of Calgary Dinos quarterback Adam Sinagra has the look.
Not the freshly dyed blonde hair, instead one of sharp focus. The Dinos' starter has been on a mission since his last visit to Quebec City one year ago.
Then, Sinagra stood on the Videotron Centre stage and accepted the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding player in Canadian university football after setting a U Sports single-season record with 3,233 passing yards during an eight-game regular season.
He ended his speech with the goal of returning to his home province with the entire Calgary team in 2019 after the Dinos season was ended with an upset loss to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the Hardy Cup.
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This year, Sinagra has reached that objective and led his team back to Quebec with a spot in the Vanier Cup against the Montreal Carabins. The Pointe Claire, Que., quarterback played CEGEP Division II football at John Abbot College, about a half hour drive outside of Montreal.
University of Montreal head coach Danny Maciocia praised the Quebec product and wished he had pursued him to join the Carabins.
"He's the best quarterback in the country right now," Maciocia said. "I'm actually a bit upset right now because I just heard Adam speak French, which really upsets me because I didn't recruit him."
McGill and Bishop's did try to keep Sinagra in Quebec, but the chance to play for offensive coordinator Ryan Sheahan took him west. He still plays for a Sheahan, but this season it's Ryan's father, Pat. Ryan moved to the University of Guelph as head coach while Pat, who had been in charge at Queen's University for 19 years, took over the offensive play-calling duties in Calgary.
Sinagra won the starting job due in part to his performance in the 2016 Vanier Cup against Laval University, where he entered the game following an injury to No. 1 pivot Jimmy Underdahl. Sinagra threw for 276 yards and nearly pulled off an upset of the Rouge et Or.
That showing served proof that Sinagra was prepared for the spotlight as the face of a program.
One of the opposing defenders in that 2016 game, Laval defensive end and current Edmonton Eskimo Mathieu Betts, has taken notice of Sinagra's determination.
The most decorated pass rusher in U Sports history sent a text to congratulate Sinagra on achieving his goal and bringing the rest of the Dinos to Quebec City.
If Sinagra has his way, the Dinos will snap a 24-year national championship drought, and cap off his university career against the team that missed out on the Montreal-area quarterback.
Justin Dunk is a USports football analyst.