“We’re real happy with everyone,” is how a conversation with Coach Bart Arnold began, as he shared his thoughts on the Huskies’ offensive line after spring camp 2012 concluded. “There are several recruits who’ve come in, and all of them have shown that they can step in and be contributors in the not too distant future…that’s real exciting. The guys who have been around for 2 or 3 years have done the necessary work in the offseason.” Coach Arnold talked about the upcoming absence of the CFL’s number 1 draft pick from the lineup this fall. “I was asked earlier how we can replace Ben Heenan. Absolutely, you don’t replace him, but the other 4 guys are all a year better. I think our group is going to be better this season than we were last year.”
Recruiting offensive linemen was one of the Huskies’ biggest needs during the winter. The Dogs have welcomed in several recruits from the high school and junior ranks, and Coach Arnold shared a few observations about each of them, beginning with the high school recruits. “Evan Johnson is a football player…he really is. He hasn’t filled out, especially through the upper body, yet, but he was doing some really good things out there. Evan Rutherford, from Harry Ainlay in Edmonton, is physically a lot further along than most high school kids. He’s pretty well put together. We didn’t get to see Kurtis Wegren, out of Swift Current (injured), but he’s got a big frame. And then there’s Ryan Breadner, from Cherokee Texas. He’s 6′-6″, and 320 pounds.” Arnold followed with a very promising outlook for the future of his unit. “Those guys all have talent, and they’re all athletic. I see us, in the near future, being right back to where we were with our best lines in the past.”
The two recruits from CJFL, Drew Digout and Lane Bryksa, bring with them experience that may translate into a more immediate impact to the offensive line than the high school recruits. “Spring camp wasn’t our first look at them, because we saw them in our winter workouts. Drew proved that he can play at this level right away, and the same thing goes for Lane. The thing that strikes me about Lane is that he’s such a coachable kid, an outstanding young man. Both of them are football players and you can tell that they’ve got that seasoning from playing junior football. They can both come in and contribute with our team this year.”
In the upcoming days, Huskie Outsider followers can expect to hear from position coaches on the defensive side of the ball, special teams coordinator, Doug Humbert, as well as a few veteran members of the Dogs who spoke to us after spring scrimmage concluded.