The CIS football season is coming up fast and if Brian Dobie is right, the University of Manitoba Bisons might have the best quarterback in the country ready to run the offence.
"We've had some good quarterbacks, so I'm going to lose some friends when I say this..." the U of M head coach said at a press conference on Tuesday. "Jordan Yantz is at a whole different level. He's an amazing athlete, great leader and his ability to throw the football is through the roof.
"At our level he's that guy, he's as good as it gets in this country."
The fifth-year player is coming off a spot on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' training camp roster earlier this year. In 2013, he helped the Bisons to the Canada West final, while earning Canada West all-star honours and leading the CIS in touchdown passes.
Dobie said Yantz is the closest thing you will find to being a Canadian Football League quarterback. "I hope after this season he gets a genuine pro opportunity to show what he can do in a camp," he said. "And let him put his skills out there and make or not make a team but give him a fair chance."
The Bisons' training camp kicks off this week and they are excited with the number of veterans they have returning, which of course includes Yantz and fourth-year slotback/kick returner Nic Demski, a CIS first team all-Canadian last season.
On offence the Herd will have 10 out of 12 starters returning and eight of 12 starters on defence suiting up again. Their offence had no problem scoring last year during their 5-3 campaign, so Dobie is excited to see where his defence is when training camp begins.
"I can't wait, really can't wait," Dobie said. "This season is a whole new entity for us and that's not just a token phrase. This is the first year we came out of Investors Group Field with an entire year put in and I had no idea how that was going to impact our program."
Well, it certainly has, he said.
This is their first off-season at the new stadium and it's improved every element of the program for the players and the coaching staff. Team meetings are more frequent, the players work out together, eat together (there is a kitchen) and it's improved recuiting. Yantz and Demski noted it has been one of the best off-seasons they've had.
"A facility like that brings a team together," Yantz said. "And I think that when you have a strength and conditioning coach and a gym like we have, you're motivated to lift. You walk in that gym, you're motivated to move some weight around and do good things. I think hands down it's the best CIS facility in the country... It was very good to us this off-season."
But the results will come on the field and Yantz knows what he has to do to be successful.
"All the personal stuff and all the personal accolades and stats, and all those fun things will just fall into place if you win," he said "If you hop on the field and focus on scoring more points than the other team, then you're going to win...
"That's one thing we're focused on this year, straight out scoring more points than the other team."
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