Winnipeg Blue Bombers Sign Former Churchill Star
WINNIPEG, MB – Former Churchill Bulldogs and University of Manitoba Bisons linebacker, Thomas Miles, has signed a free agent contract with his hometown team.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced on Saturday that Miles, who has spent the last three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts after being selected by the Argos in the fourth round (33rd overall) in the 2014 CFL Draft.
Miles, 24 (he’ll be 25 on July 31, 2107), is a 6-foot-1, 230-pound outside linebacker who excelled on special teams in Toronto. He has played in 40 CFL games with Toronto and started in eight of them during the past three seasons. He has racked up 58 defensive tackles, 16 special teams’ tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
Started as QB, Runningback
Like so many young athletes, Miles didn’t gravitate toward the position that he would eventually play as an adult until high school. He started playing football as a 10-year-old quarterback and runningback with the Crescentwood Grizzlies.
“I played one year of linebacker in bantam before I moved to high school for Grade 10,” he said. “That’s when I really felt I was a linebacker.”
It’s interesting to note that Miles, who had a great high school football career, cherishes a different moment from his days at Churchill when he helped the Bulldogs win the Provincial High School Hockey Championship.
“In Grade 12, we won the Division III High School Hockey Championship and that was pretty sweet,” said Miles, noting that a former University of Manitoba Bisons teammate and now Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman was part of that time. “Evan Gill was on that team and he came the year after we won the high school football championship in Grade 11. It was just a great way to finish high school.”
One of the Bisons’ Best
Miles moved straight from Churchill into the Bisons’ lineup and midway through his freshman season in 2010 at the U of M he started at MAC linebacker. However, in training camp in 2011, he tore his MCL and was out for the season. In 2012, it was Miles’ first season as a veteran starter and making the playoffs was a big step. He became one of the best linebackers ever to play with the Bisons and one of the better linebackers in Canada West.
Miles played four seasons (2010-13) at the University of Manitoba and had 80 defensive tackles, 16 special teams’ tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one tackle for a loss, and three fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown.
“Thomas is another solid key piece to our Canadian depth,” said Blue Bombers General Manager, Kyle Walters in a written statement. “He has the ability to play a role on special teams as well as on defense, and obviously being able to add a local product to our organization is always an added benefit.”
— Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photos – Jeff Miller