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This article was published 8/4/2014 (2423 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Riley Harrison will have a chance to join his big brother on the University of Manitoba Bisons football team.
Harrison, 18, a multi-position player at Sisler High School (quarterback and receiver), was one of six local recruits announced by the Bisons on Tues., April 1.
Harrison’s brother Mitchell is heading into his fifth season with the Bisons, attempting to make the move from defensive back to strong-side linebacker.
"We’ve never got to play football together before, that’s why it would be so memorable, so unique, because he’s four years older than me," said Harrison, a Meadows West resident.
While he was a quarterback for much of high school, Harrison said it was mainly out of necessity, with Sisler lacking another QB. He comes to the Bisons as a receiver, having played the position with Team Manitoba at the 2013 and 2012 Football Canada Cup.
"I like to regard myself as a speed receiver," Harrison said. "I rely heavily on speed, as well as just athletic ability. My jumping ability, I think that kind of sets me apart. I also have pretty good hands too. I’m a pretty well-rounded receiver."
If he’s to play with the Bisons next season, Harrison, who stands six feet tall and weighs 180 pounds, said he needs to work on his strength and size.
"The one thing I can do is get in the weight room all off-season, try to put in a bit more muscle on myself, try to get a bit bigger so when it comes time to actually play, I won’t be worried about getting injured or anything like that," said Harrison, who hopes to gain 10 to 20 pounds.
Even if he’s not the biggest guy on the field, Bisons head coach Brian Dobie said there’s a lot to like about Harrison, calling him the "consummate Canadian inside receiver."
"He would be that inside receiver who is tough, runs great routes, has great hands, dependable, he’s going to make all the catches you need in traffic, sort of a Chris Getzlaf (Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback) type guy, in relative terms," Dobie said.
Dobie said it’s a little unfortunate Harrison had to spend so much of high school at quarterback, even though he led Sisler to the Winnipeg High School Football League’s Andy Currie Division A championship in 2011 at the position.
"No disrespect to him but we had zero interest in him as a quarterback. We had ultimate interest in him as a receiver," Dobie said.
"But that just shows his athleticism. ‘Hey we need a quarterback’, and away he goes. He was able perform as a thrower and guy that runs the offence, which shows his commitment, his intelligence, his diversity and his athleticism. There’s nothing missing.
"Now he needs to develop into a university receiver. He’s got great work ethic. That kid will get it done."
The Bisons host the 2014 Spring Camp at U of M from May 2 to 4.
Community journalist — The Times
Jared Story was the community journalist for The Times.