April 30, 2017

Bisons Camp | Day 2 Recap

The energy level was high on Day 2 of the University of Manitoba Bisons football spring camp, as the team completed their first session of two-a-days. Below are a few highlights: 

Defensive depth

Head coach Brian Dobie was quick to praise his defence on Day 2, with multiple players stepping up at both defensive back and linebacker, specifically. 

“Defence is looking better than I thought it was going to look,” Dobie said. 

“There’s so many guys in the secondary that’ll compete for five spots, and the young linebackers that have come in, physically they look like third and fourth-year university players in the way that they come downhill in the box, they’re so aggressive.”

Returning players in the secondary such as Jayden McKoy and Keenan Onyebuchi have shone over the first two days, including snagging a few interceptions during skelly and one-on-one sessions. It was rookie Shae Weekes who stood out in the second session on Saturday, however. He was physical and quick out of  his break, and also registered an interception. 

Dobie noted Weekes’ performance as “literally outstanding,” stating that the St.Paul’s product reminded him of Marcel Arruda-Welch – a current second-year player who stepped into a starting role as a rookie before getting injured. 


PHOTO: Chantal Zdan

Matt Clarkson’s improvement

The offensive line is slowly starting to get into a groove, despite missing a number of players due to the late exam schedule. One hoggie that Dobie was quick to point out was fourth-year Matt Clarkson, who’s had steady growth in his game over the past few seasons. 

“He’s [Clarkson] one of the most improved players on the roster regardless of position,” Dobie said. 

Receiver analysis 

In Dobie’s eyes, the toughest area to assess both now and going forward, is at the receiver position. Veterans such as Jesse Walker and Kyle Patchell have stood out, however according to Dobie, the decision-making process for who not only starts, but also makes the squad, will be difficult. 

“There’s a very thin line between players five and six, and nine and 10 [at the receiver position],” Dobie said. 

There’s not a lot of separation, so it’s going to be very difficult to first of all do our team selection and who will literally turn out in training camp as group one, group two and group three.” 

The final day of spring camp takes place Sunday, with a practice from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The culmination of the three-day camp will go from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as the players take part in a scrimmage.