Part of the University of Calgary Dinos excellent recruiting class was on display Friday evening in Edmonton against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. According to Canada Football Chat the Dinos were rated with the nation’s number one recruiting class.
Due to five players making Canadian Football League rosters, training camp injuries, and some a couple of players opting not to pursue football in 2017 no less than eight rookies were a part of the Dinos 45-man travel roster.
What is unique is that all eight players are graduates of the Calgary High School system or the immediate surrounding area.
“They (first year players) were a talented group coming in. These players have worked hard since they have been here and earned the right to be in the lineup,” states Defensive Coordinator Matt Berry who was instrumental in scouting and recruiting the players.
Receiver Jacob Izquierdo and offensive lineman Logan Bandy played for the 2016 Calgary and Provincial 4A Champion St. Francis Browns. Notre Dame Pride graduates suiting up are defensive back Deane Leonard and offensive tackle Tyler Packer. Defensive Jack Burns and linebacker Devon Derouin come from the Henry Wise Wood Warriors. Receiver Kevon John-Clarke played for the St. Mary’s Saints while linebacker Daniel Tietz is a graduate of Springbank High School which is just outside the Calgary city limits.
Leonard and Izquierdo are sons of former CFL players, with Deane being the son of Kenton Leonard and Jacob the son of former University of Calgary all-Canadian tailback who played seven professional seasons.
“Having these players suit up so early in their varsity careers speaks to the strength of Calgary High School football and the outstanding coaches involved,” Berry stated.
“This is a dream come true,” stated Burns when told he would dressing who expects his family to make the trek to Edmonton.
For Izquierdo the mood is one of excitement. “I am excited to see my first league action,” he stated.