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Its not every day that a Canadian college star or superstar gets taken to Grade One class for "show and tell", but it did happen many years ago to Eric Lapointe when he was running wild on the college football field of Atlantic Canada. Eric Lapointe will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame along with former CFL players Jack Abendschan, Damon Allen, Tyrone Jones, and Milt Stegall. David Braley and former CIS Calgary Dinos coach Peter Connellan will go in the builders division. Lapointe is the second CIS player to get this honour and that is a tremendous achievement for he was a great running back who played with the Mount Allison Mounties from 1995-98. The first CIS player was Saint Marys former star Chris Flynn who was inducted earlier this fall. I first heard of Lapointe in 1995, his rookie season. And I covered him for nearly four years. Saint Marys were in battling for a playoff spot that year and they just barely beat MTA 16-12 who were 0-5 after the game. "They must be the best 0-5 team in the country," said the late Saint Marys coach Al Keith. "They have an incredible rookie running back in a kid called Eric Lapointe." That was the first time I heard his name, Ive heard it hundreds of times after that. From that point over the next three years I probably covered the Mount Allison Mounties and Lapointe more than any team in college ball, ever. That first year Lapointe took the national Rookie of the Year award with 1,062 yards. It was a precursor of things to come. "He was an exceptional talent. He could run, had blazing speed and could go around you or through you," says Gord Grace, Windsors current Athletic Director who was Lapointes college coach in 1997 and 1998. "He also was a terrific leader and liked by his teammates." John MacNeil, who had him in 1996, the year of his first Hec Crighton, says Lapointe was simply special. "Ive been around football players for nearly 45 years. There are many good ones but only one Lapointe. I was there at St. F.X. when he rushed for 311 yards in the conference final and his amazing run (that TSN aired this past Sunday during the Als football game). Lapointe is flattered and honoured to be chosen. "When you think of all the players they could have picked its a big honour, very big," he told me. Mount Allison and the Mounties may have been the best years of my life (so far). "I have nothing but terrific memories of my college days," he told TSN.ca. In that second year he took the rushing title with 1,615 yards (a record at the time) and his first Hec Crighton as Canadas best. His third year was almost a write-off as he tore his ACL and, when he was set to return late in the season he broke his arm. That season MTA won the league championship and headed to the Atlantic Bowl against UBC. I remember Lapointe dressed and interviewing him for TSN at the start of the game. "Thats why I stayed in school and didnt turn pro because we had a great team but it didnt work out. It was a very disappointing day," Lapointe told TSN.ca. UBC won the Atlantic Bowl 34-29 and went on to take the Vanier a week later beating Ottawa 39-23. There have been great backs out of this conference. The 70s gave us Angelo Santucci who had a decent CFL career with Edmonton, and the 80s gave us Brian Walling (no relation) who ended up with the Miami Dolphins but none were as electrifying as Lapointe. Following that injury-plagued 1997 season during which he was held to 470 rushing yards, he was back to his usual standard in his final year with the Mounties in 1998, capturing his second CIS MVP award thanks to a 1,515-yard tally. Blake Nill, coach of the #2-rated Calgary Dinos, faced Lapointe as the defensive coordinator at St. F.X. and as a head coach at Saint Marys. Here are two of his many stories on Lapointe. "The first is, they punted with him in the backfield. Many times they had a 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 4 or even 3rd and 5 at mid-field and this guy with an eight-yard a game average was not given the ball. I would have rushed him," said Nill in Calgary. The other is when Lapointe turned pro with Hamilton, Nill sent him a letter saying "It will be nice watching you run against someone else and not against my team," Nill told TSN.ca. In fact in Lapointes first game for Hamilton he rushed for nearly 200 yards and scored on a 90-yard run. He rushed as a CFL rookie for 700 yards. But his first pro experience was not a good one. "I was drafted by Edmonton, went to camp in Edmonton, never stepped on the field and was cut. It was a horrible experience," he told TSN.ca. When cut without ever getting a chance to get on the field, he headed to Mount A for his fourth year. Then Ron Lancaster from the Tiger-Cats called and his successful CFL career started. Thirteen years after his final university outing, Lapointe, who scored 29 rushing touchdowns and 31 all-purpose majors in 28 conference games during his CIS career, still holds numerous AUS records including most rushing yards in a game (311), season (1,619) and career (4,666). One of only two CIS players to reach the 1,000-yard plateau three times, he recorded five of the 10 best single-game rushing performances in AUS history. One of five multiple Hec Crighton trophy winners, his 1996 and 1998 rushing totals still rank second and third best on the single-season CIS list, while his 4,666 career yards are good for third place overall and rank first among running backs who played only four university campaigns. His lifetime average of 167 rushing yards per contest still stands as the CIS standard. "He was a special player. He was a leader, a great runner and classy guy," says Windsors athletic director Gord Grace who coached him in for several seasons at Mount A in 1996 and 1997. "He was a legend in the community and a great role model. He attended kid football camps and got involved with the kids. He was great in more ways than a football player. The players and team looked up to him. Ive seen many plays involving Lapointe in the years I covered him but one came to mind. In the AUS title game in 1998, 3rd and 10 and two minutes left and season on the line from the Mount A 45. Draw play to Lapointe. He got 11 yards. As Blake Nill said, why punt? In 1996 Ottawa came down for the Atlantic Bowl and played X who had defeated Lapointe and the Mounties 30-22. In that loss Lapointe rushed for 311 yards. I was the sideline reporter for the game for TSN. Prior to the game an Ottawa coach came to me and said. "311 yards, what kind of defence does X have? They must be lousy. We have a great back in Ottawa we will run you out of the stadium," were his words. That afternoon the X defence with two soon-to-be CFLers in it held Ottawa to five points in winning 13-5. The Ottawa running back was held to under 50 yards. After the game the coach came back and said "311 yards, he must be something special. He was." Oh, as for the Show and Tell story. While at Mount A a young kid in Grade One, Wray Perkin, approached Lapointe and asked him to come to his class and be the Show and Tell item. Lapointe did. John MacNeil, who coached him in 1996, said "Eric had plenty of time for kids and minor football and went out of his way to help,". Perkin these days is a student at MTA, and a manager – trainer for the football team and has been invited up to the Montreal Als on several occasions. He remembers the Lapointe "Show and Tell. A member of the Mount Allison Sports Hall of Fame, he went on to a successful eight-year career in the CFL that included a 1999 Grey Cup championship with Hamilton. In 2005, a nationwide fan poll selected him as the best Canadian university football player of all time. 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