April 27, 2017

U of M Bisons Preview | Newcomers

Brian Dobie’s University of Manitoba Bisons are trying to put a taxing 2016 season behind them. Crushed by injuries on both sides of the football, they finished 3-5 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

A busy winter of recruiting virtually complete, the Bisons begin to put that all in the rearview mirror this weekend with the opening of their 2017 Spring Camp.

Below is part one of the spring camp series: A breakdown of some of the incoming recruits to watch for when on-field drills begin April 28.

Local recruits

Dobie stated the recruiting class this season wasn’t particularly big due to a number of key athletes returning for the 2017 season, but he was able to secure the commitment of most of the local athletes he was pursuing during the offseason.

Among the Winnipeg products that will be making their debut for the brown and gold in 2017 include defensive backs Galata Gurmu and Shae Weekes, as well as linebacker Brody Williams and defensive tackle Cole Adamson.

Gurmu, a graduate of Vincent Massey Collegiate, is a two-time provincial champion at the junior varsity level and also holds a John Potter AAA provincial championship at the varsity level. He made a significant name for himself at the Football Canada Cup, where he was named a tournament all-star and was elected to Team Canada’s U-19 team for the International Bowl against the USA last year.

Weekes and Williams are both graduates of St. Paul’s High School – who knocked off Vincent Massey in the AAA Championship in 2016 to reclaim varsity supremacy.

Weekes is an athletic playmaker who was ranked by as one of the top 100 players in the country last year. He showed his resolve in 2016 after coming back from a serious leg injury during his grade 11 campaign.

Williams has been a member of numerous provincial teams for Manitoba. He was also elected to Team Canada’s U-18 roster for the International Bowl last January. Despite a losing result, Williams was acknowledged for his efforts as Canada’s game MVP.

Adamson – another CanadaFootballChat top 100 player – comes to the Bisons via Oak Park High School, where he was highly recruited all across the nation. He was incredibly versatile for the Raiders, as he lined up on the front four as well as in the linebacking corps. Offensively, Adamson also served as an offensive tackle and fullback, and was the team’s punter.


Junior football commits

A trio of athletes with prior connections to Manitoba highlight the junior football recruits who will be looking to make an impact with Manitoba in 2017.

Luc Catellier is an intelligent and physical cornerback who starred for the Prairie Football Conference’s (PFC) Calgary Colts in 2016, after redshirting with the Bisons in 2015. He’s a former Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) All-Canadian and also a two-time PFC all-star, earning the honour with the Colts last year as well as with the Edmonton Wildcats in 2014.

A product of Garden City High School in Winnipeg, linebacker Brendan Desjardine makes his return to the province after spending the past two seasons with the British Columbia Football Conference’s (BCFC) Langley Rams. During his time, he was named a conference all-star twice.

Receiver Dylan Schrot is arguably the most intriguing junior recruit entering camp this year. A graduate of Winnipeg’s Sisler High School, he originally left the province to play for the Vancouver Island Raiders of the BCFC. After being named the Raiders receiver of the year in 2013, Schrot lost two years of eligibility due to a contract dispute as well as a knee injury. He came back last year with the Colts of the PFC, and was named the conference’s most outstanding receiver and was also a CJFL All-Canadian.



Full list of 2017 Bison football commits

(in alphabetical order)

Abdul-Karim Gassama, REC, Vincent Massey Trojans, Winnipeg, MB

Brayden Saville, REC, Vincent Massey Trojans, Winnipeg, MB

Brendan Desjardine, LB, Langley Rams, Langley, BC

Brett Stubbs, OL, Duchess Park Condors, Prince George, BC

Brody Williams, LB, St. Paul’s Crusaders, Winnipeg, MB

Cole Adamson, DL, Oak Park Raiders, Winnipeg, MB

Dylan Schrot, REC, Calgary Colts, Calgary, AB

Galata Gurmu, DB, Vincent Massey Trojans, Winnipeg, MB

Hunter Brown, OL, Murdoch MacKay Clansmen, Winnipeg, MB

Kaeden Corrie, RB, Sturgeon Heights Huskies, Winnipeg, MB

Luc Catellier, DB, Calgary Colts, Calgary, AB

Michael West, DL, Terry Fox, Coquitlam, BC

Newton Benson, DL, Kelowna Owls, Kelowna, BC

Nick Thomas, LB, Langley Stampeders, Surrey, BC

Remis Tshiovo, REC, St. Paul’s Crusaders, Winnipeg, MB

Shae Weekes, St. Paul’s Crusaders, Winnipeg, MB

Tong King, Vincent Massey Trojans, Winnipeg, MB


*All players in bold were CFC top 100 players in 2016