SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University annual Black & Gold Spring Football Game has always seen strong support from football fans from around the state and the region. But the game has always been a big draw by many alumni as well, particularly, for some of the program's all-time greats.
It's hard to believe that it has been four years since quarterback Charlie Granatell last donned the Black & White jersey as a senior in 2007, but the former No. 19 was strolling the sidelines once again at last weekend's spring game.
Granatell, a native of Franklin Lakes, N.J., had a remarkable career from 2004-07, setting all of Bryant's passing records including career completions (546), passing yards (6,984), touchdowns (56), total offense (6,865) and total touchdowns (65).
Also making a return to Smithfield for last Saturday's game were four of Bryant's all-time career rushing leaders. Lorenzo Perry '07, Jerell Smith '10, Lindsey Gamble '10, and Mike Canfora '11 helped cheer on this year's team from the sidelines of Bulldog Stadium where the quartet were a part of numerous team victories including two conference titles and pair of NCAA playoff appearances.
Perry, from nearby Providence, RI, rushed for 3,259 career yards in just two seasons (2005-06), not to mention scoring a school record 36 touchdowns. Smith had a stellar career after transferring from Howard University. The Brooklyn native finished third all-time in school history for career rushing yards with 3,071 and scored 17 career rushing touchdowns.
Gamble, a native of Roxbury, Mass, became only the fourth player in school history to rush for more than 2,000 yards, finishing with 2,044 during his four-year career from 2006-09. Right behind Gamble was Silver Spring, Md. native Peaks who not only rushed for 1,555 yards between 2003-07, but was the emotional team leader of Bryant's pair of conference championship teams in '06 and '07.
Canfora, who wrapped up his stellar career this past fall, was instrumental in leading the Bulldogs into Division I three years ago as a sophomore. The Verona, N.J. native rushed for 864 career yards while adding 541 receiving yards. He will graduate this spring with the distinction of being the only Bryant football player in the program's history to not only run for a touchdown and catch a TD, but to also throw for a touchdown in his career.