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Off-Season Forecast: Edmonton Huskies

07/20/2019, 11:15pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Huskies will be young in 2019

Photo courtesy of Gord Mellor

Last season the Edmonton Huskies were one win away from clinching their first Prairie Conference championship in 13 seasons.   They have retooled and are ready to make another run at the title here in 2019 opening the season on August 17th when they host the Calgary Colts.  As a matter of fact the Huskies will play at Clarke Park Stadium in each of their first four games.

This upcoming season the Huskies will look different with over 20 players moving onto University rosters from last year’s team.

What’s Changing?

Changes but continued continuity on the coaching staff is the biggest change for the Huskies. Last season’s offensive coordinator Rick Walters has left to take on the OC position at the University of Alberta. Special Teams Coordinator Reid Knox is also joining the Bears staff as well. This has allowed Sam Schwab, who has been the receivers coach for the past four years to step in as the OC assisted by offensive line coach Bryan Marshall as running game and protection coordinator. Branden Modin, the linebackers coach is stepping into the Special Teams Coordinator role. Former CFLers Marcus Henry (Recs) and Randy Spencer (D-Line) have joined the staff for this season.

Key Grads:

OL TJ Solboda and Jack Hanna were All-Stars for the Huskies and have now graduated moving onto play for the University of Alberta this year.

LB Oshane Samuels and Vince Schiffner were anchors on the defence last year and signed with the Edmonton Eskimos in the offseason.  They will both play for the University of Manitoba this season.  Samuels had 28 tackles last season, had a sack, blocked three kicks, had a knockdown and an interception.   Meanwhile Schiffner compiled 20 tackles, three sacks, recovered a fumble for a 25 yard touchdown and had a 104 yard pick-six.

LB Jassen Brown was a CJFL All-Canadian who has led the Huskies defence for the past five seasons.  He was a beast last year with 34 tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception.

What They Need:

The Huskies are looking for their next starting quarterback.  Last year’s starter Tommy Yanchuk who completed 108 passes for 1523 yards and nine touchdowns has left for the UBC Thunderbirds.

Counting On:

SR Sam Clayton and Harrison Cabel are two physical receivers that will be leaned upon to lead a young offence and continue the success the receiving core has shown over the previous seasons.

RB Brandt Burzuk was a Prairie Conference All-Star last season carrying the rock 102 times for 722 yards and scored eight touchdowns.

DB Justin Hodinsky was an All-Canadian safety last year and will step up to lead a young defence.  Last season he tallied 24 tackles, blocked a kick, had four knockdowns, a fumble recovery and four interceptions including an 87 yard pick-six.

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