Brian Dobie went hunting on the West Coast and the Bisons head coach bagged himself a record-breaking quarterback.
Vancouver Island Raiders' Jordan Yantz, who rewrote the Canadian Junior Football League record books during his five-year career, has committed to play at the U of M.
Dobie confirmed that Yantz, 22, will join his team for the the 2013 spring camp and Canada West season.
"It's huge for us to get Jordan. We had to duke it out with Calgary and Regina," Dobie said in a telephone interview from British Columbia, where he has been on a recruiting trip for the past week. "I've known Jordan for a couple of years now and he is winner. He's got a gun for an arm, he can run with the ball and he's got great leadership abilities."
Yantz set CJFL records for career passing yards with 10,728 and touchdown passes with 121 and set the B.C. Football Conference's single-season record for passing yards with 3,243. In a telephone interview from Nanaimo, he said he was looking forward to his career with the Bisons.
"I just found that Manitoba would fit me best and I'm excited to get to come to Manitoba and contribute in whichever way I can and however we can win," said Yantz, a Regina native who was named the BCFC's most outstanding offensive player for the third consecutive season after the 2012 campaign. He is the first player in BCFC history to win that award three consecutive seasons.
"It just came down to which team was going to have the better chance to win," Yantz said. "The Manitoba Bisons have an outstanding football team offensively and defensively and I know the coaches are still adding key elements."
Under Canadian Interuniversity Sport rules, players are allowed seven years to play five. That means Yantz has just two years of university eligibility remaining. Fans can bet he's not coming here to stand on the sidelines but all Dobie would say is that the battle at quarterback will be "interesting."
The Bisons will also have Ryan Marsch, Theo Deezar and Marc Paquette battling for the starting job.
Yantz said Bisons quarterback coach John Makie, also a Regina native and former Bisons Vanier Cup quarterback, visited him in Regina during the Christmas season and pretty much sealed the deal.
"Coach Dobie and coach Makie, those guys really impressed me and they were very honest about their football program," Yantz said, adding the new football stadium at the U of M helped him make his decision.
"Coach Dobie had the blueprints out and the layout of the locker-room all set out for me to see," Yantz said, laughing. "It's really exciting to be part of something where you're going to be in such a professional atmosphere and around the Blue Bombers and I can't wait."
Yantz, who participated at the B.C. Lions' 2012 training camp, became the first player in CJFL history to eclipse the 10,000 career passing yards mark.
Makie, who passed for 9,370 yards from 2001-2004 with the Vancouver Trojans, had the record before Yantz broke it."