When the University of Calgary Dinos received commitments from Jalen Philpot and Tyson Philpot, the coaching staff knew the twins would be difference makers.
Just past the midway point of their freshmen season they are proving they are just that: difference makers. They also became the second set of identical twins on the team, joining veteran defensive starters Aaron Statz and Nick Statz.
Jalen and Tyson had remarkable careers playing for Seaquam Seahawks in North Delta. They helped the Seahawks win the Provincial 2A Championship in 2016 and led them to the BCSSA 3A semi-final in 2017, losing to the Terry Fox Ravens. Both were named Most Outstanding Players of the Year at Seaquam in Grades 11 and 12 as well as being named to the Seaquam Hall of Fame in their senior year.
As juniors at Seaquam, Jalen was named BC High School 2A Grade 11 Player of the Year and Tyson was named an all-star defensive back. In their senior year, Tyson was named BC High School 3A MVP and Jalen was named all-star running back.
Both Tyson and Jalen were all-stars in 2017 at the Canada Cup tournament in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. They also competed in the International Bowl in Dallas, Texas in January 2018 as members of Canada’s U18 team. This summer they were members of Canada’s U19 team that played in Mexico, winning the world championship.
The twins shone on the International stage for Team Canada. At the U18 international game in Texas Jalen was Most Valuable Player of the gold medal game against the USA while at the U19 tournament in Mexico, Tyson was named Most Valuable Player of game against Japan.
Football was not the only sport the twins excelled in. They were standout basketball and excellent ball hockey players.
“The Philpot twins were premier graduating high school players in the country,” said Dinos offensive coordinator Ryan Sheahan. “They have already shown the ability to make the big plays at any given moment. They are both playmakers and character players in our locker room.”
Midway through their freshman season in Canada West, both have shown to be bona fide threats each time they get the football from quarterbacks Adam Sinagra and Josiah Joseph.
Heavily recruited by numerous U SPORTS schools, the twins committed to the Dinos in January 2018 and made their presence felt early in the 2018 Canada West season. Tyson had four receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns in front of his mother, Colleen Purcell, who was present at McMahon Stadium in the Dinos’ win over UBC on Sept. 7 – her first opportunity to see her sons play in person at the university level. The following weekend in Saskatchewan, in it was Jalen’s turn to score: he reached the end zone with two touchdowns and had 135 yards with his eight catches.
“I liked the offense that is run and players they had here (Calgary),” said Tyson, the younger brother by seven minutes.
“I liked the coaching here (Calgary) and environment and felt I could help right away,” said Jalen, who plans to major in sociology. Jalen praises veteran receivers Hunter Karl and Dallas Boath for helping both him and his twin brother adjust to post-secondary football. “They (Hunter and Dallas) showed us how to do things and took us under their wing.”
The twins quickly earned the trust of quarterback Adam Sinagra. “I saw in training camp they could contribute and also in the pre-season game in Red Deer,” said the 23-year-old starting quarterback. “The fact they are contributing at 18 years old helps us out a lot. Both Tyson and Jalen have fit in extremely well. We have a dynamic group of receivers that they are a part of.”
The twins have a football background as their father is former Canadian Football League running back, Cory Philpot. Cory spent eight seasons in the CFL, helping the British Columbia Lions win the Grey Cup in 1994 and concluding his CFL career in Winnipeg in 2000. Cory played his college football at the University of Mississippi.
The Dinos take their undefeated 6-0 record into Friday night’s contest (Oct. 19) against the Regina Rams. Kickoff at McMahon Stadium is set for 7 p.m.