Kyle Quinlan will have the chance to help the McMaster Marauders defend their Vanier Cup title.
The six-foot-three, 215-pound quarterback was among 14 players released Thursday by the Montreal Alouettes. That will allow the 23-year-old native of South Woodslee, Ont., to return to McMaster this fall.
Quinlan made one appearance with Montreal during the exhibition season, being the last of four Alouettes quarterbacks to play in a 25-20 road loss to Toronto on Tuesday. Quinlan finished 2-of-4 passing for 45 yards, with 41 yards coming on a completion to Felton Huggins.
Also released was Kyle Graves, a native of Barrie, Ont., who played quarterback at Acadia and like Quinlan can return to school this fall.
Both Canadians were longshots to crack a Montreal roster that features two established veterans atop the quarterback depth chart with Anthony Calvillo and Adrian McPherson.
Quinlan was instrumental in leading McMaster to its first Vanier Cup title last season. Despite serving a three-game suspension for an off-field incident, he completed 65 per cent of his passes during the regular season with 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
In the playoffs, he was named MVP in the Yates Cup, Uteck Bowl and Vanier Cup.
Quinlan capped his season in style, leading McMaster to a thrilling 41-38 double-overtime Vanier Cup win over Laval. He finished 36-of-55 passing for 482 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a team-high 106 yards.
Quinlan participated in the CFL evaluation camp in March but was bypassed in the league's draft. But the disappointment of not being selected quickly turned to jubilation when the Alouettes came calling.
Among the other players released was receiver Travon Patterson, who had a 12-yard touchdown catch against Toronto.
CFL teams have until the weekend to reduce their training-camp rosters down to 46 players.
Montreal will kick off the 2012 season in Calgary on July 1.