April 30, 2017

Bisons Camp | Day 3 Recap

The University of Manitoba Bisons football spring camp wrapped up on Sunday with a morning practice followed by an afternoon scrimmage.

And, yet again, the pace and tempo were high during the final practice session with both sides of the ball flying around.

The scrimmage was the culmination of the three-day camp and featured a number of impressive plays on both sides of the ball. Below are a few highlights, as well as head coach Brian Dobie’s final thoughts on camp as a whole:


Lyles and Christie run wild

Jamel Lyles, who has been tremendous in practice all week, kept his momentum rolling during the scrimmage, taking the first snap of the game 75 yards to the house. He also demonstrated the power in his lower body, especially moving laterally out of the backfield, as it took multiple defenders to bring him down.

When Alex Christie entered the game, he showed off his speed in space, getting to the edge for a touchdown and also dropped his shoulder to gain extra yards on multiple occasions.

“You can just see the quality and experience of those two (Lyles and Christie) are at a different level,” Dobie said of his veteran tailbacks.

“Macho man” and TD stake their claim at receiver

After Saturday’s practice, Dobie mentioned a slight lack in separation between the group one receivers compared to groups two and three. Veterans Macho Bockru and Trysten Dyce – the latter of whom played in all eight games last season – were easily the most noticeable players at their position during the scrimmage.

Both had a number of impressive receptions, with Bockru’s best grab coming right near the sideline as he was able to slide his foot in bounds while making an over the shoulder catch. Dyce secured a few diving grabs, and also hauled in a difficult deep ball in traffic between two defenders.

Bisons Macho Bockru

Williams with the play of the day on defence

Defensive back Akeeno Williams continues to make strides on defence after converting from wide receiver last season. Towards the end of the scrimmage, he recorded a highlight-reel interception, diving to pick off a pass that went off one of the receiver’s hands.

Dobie’s final thoughts on camp

Overall, Dobie felt spring camp was a success. A couple key talking points were the sheer number of tailbacks in camp, which included a number of veterans and rookies – the latter of whom Dobie feels greatly benefited from, and fed off the abilities of the core group.

The depth in the front four was also discussed, with defensive end being a priority.

“You can see how the high school running backs really look to those guys (Lyles and Christie) and look at those guys,” Dobie said. “There’s an unsaid respect that’s evident, but I think what it does is it ups the ante and ups their competitive level.”

The best example of this during the scrimmage occurred when rookie tailback Remis Tshiovo churned out a four-yard gain amidst a pile of defenders. Despite not being the largest back in camp, he showed his grit and determination on the run.

Turning to the defensive side of the ball, Dobie noted the importance of shoring up the defensive end position. An injury to veteran Tariq Lachance during Saturday’s session significantly hurt the team’s depth. They still have veterans Derek Dufault and Quinton Bowles to man the edges, but are relatively young at the position otherwise.

Defensive tackle on the other hand, should be just fine, with starters Brock Gowanlock and Braiden Watson both returning, as well as Canada Football Chat Top 100 prospects Cole Adamson and Newton Benson also entering the fold.

“I think our inside guys are going to be really competitive and tough, but I’m really worried about the ends, we’re really shallow there,” Dobie said.

What’s next?

Dobie says it will take about two weeks to decide who makes the final roster for summer camp, however he’s still in discussions with a few other undisclosed players who have a chance to make an impact immediately, and that may delay the timing of the final roster selection slightly.