The Ticats Mystery Man: David Ungerer III
You’d think we know everything about him, but how many of you know a single thing about Idaho receiver David Ungerer?
I’m not here to expose all the niche details and background facts I already understood about the second of Hamilton’s two CFL Draft picks from May 2nd. He’s a mystery to all of us, even those who cover the CFL draft.
Each year there is a player or two who come out of nowhere to sneak up the draft board. Usually they reach into the top 20 and leave fans at individual team parties twisting their neck after Commissioner Randy Ambrosie announces the pick on TSN.
In 2017 it was defensive tackle Randy Colling a defensive tackle from Gannon University going 7th overall to Calgary. In that same year Cameron Judge announced as draft eligible days before the selection party went second overall to Saskatchewan.
In 2019 David Ungerer from Idaho became known to the tuned in and aware public days before the draft. We knew little, but I have a feeling we’re about to know a lot about the Ungerer. Ungerer admitted on Sunday he was ready to hang it up after his sophomore year but realized his potential as a junior which propelled him towards a stellar senior season.
At the first day of training camp David showed everything I saw on his Idaho game tape over the last two seasons that netted 1,009 of his 1,252 receiving yards and all 12 of his total touchdowns with the Vandals.
He is quick out of his break, has great route discipline with the ability to set up defenders and shows a burst with the ball in his hands that could either be applied to the Ticats quick screen game or even punt and kickoff returns.
Take in just a handful of Ungerer team reps at training camp and you realize this is far different from your typical national draft pick. No slight to the Kaion Julien-Grant’s and Chris Osei-Kusi’s of the world who will absolutely be worth their weight in home grown gold but Ungerer offers something different.
He plays the slot.
His skill set is perfect for the CFL’s inside slot position to the wide side and if that isn’t enough he gets to learn behind one of the CFL’s best in recent years in Luke Tasker.
Add in the fact that Ungerer has adopted the number 83, which naturally will remind all black and gold fans of recently retired national legend Andy Fantuz and you have yourself an explosive marriage of player, skill set, personality, situation and ability.
With all this hype and performance it’s natural to ask, “should I take Ungerer in fantasy?! Is he going to replace Tasker right away?!.
The answer is no. While Ungerer has shown nicely in scouting and early Ticats returns he is part of an exceptional receiving group.
On Sunday’s day one the boundary saw Rashad Lawrence who saw some action in 2018 alongside exceptional late season addition Bralon Addison in the boundary slot position while Taker, Brandon Banks and resurgent Mike Jones carried the field workload with team two.
With that being said we all understand how quickly the complexion of a receiving depth chart can change and Ungerer has already shown to be a viable option as possibly on elf the best draft scoops of Drew Allemang and Sean Burke’s recent draft history.
Increasing the rarity of Ungerer’s sudden CFL appearance is the fact he’s only the fourth Idaho Vandal to be drafted in the CFL’s modern draft era (since 1985).
Running back Rolly Lumbala was the first Vandal to be drafted in the CFL, and remains the highest of Idaho's four draft picks, going ninth overall to the BC Lions in 2008. Defensive lineman Maxx Forde was picked by BC in the seventh round of the 2015 draft. Offensive lineman Mason Woods was the 10th overall selection by the Toronto Argonauts in 2017.
If Ungerer turns into the player I believe him to be capable of becoming he could be one to remember, amazing for a guy you still - so far - know very little about.
Marshall Ferguson is a former U SPORTS Quarterback, now serving as TSN 1150 Hamilton morning show host, voice of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and CFL.ca analyst