First wave of 2014 blue chip recruits join Golden Bears football

Alberta GBears

September 7, 2013, Edmonton, AB – The first wave of 2014 Golden Bears football recruits have landed, and they include two starting members from Team Canada, eight starting members from Team Alberta, and they represent the best high school programs in the province.

Intent on joining Morris, and his rebuild of the Golden Bears’ football program are: OL Mark Korte (6’4″, 245lbs, Spruce Grove Panthers, Team Alberta and Team Canada), DB Jordan Rae (6’2″, 175lbs, Team Alberta and Team Canada), QB Ben Kopczynski (5’11”, 195lbs, Team Alberta), OL Joe McQuay (6’5″ 270lbs, Notre Dame and Team Alberta), OL Zach Creighton (6’3″, 290lbs, Bev Facey and Team Alberta), DB Josh Normandeau (5’11”, 165lbs, Fort Saskatchewan, Team Alberta), OL TJ Sloboda (6’5″, 270lbs, Sylvan Lake and Team Alberta), RB/SB Donivan Grannum (5’11” and 187lbs, Holy Rosary Raiders and Team Alberta), QB Brady Kerr (6’1″, 175lbs Spruce Grove Panthers), and OL Eric Mahe (6’2″, 245lbs, Holy Rosary Raiders).

Since taking over the program in January, Morris has worked relentlessly at acquiring the best building blocks to resurrect a program that hasn’t won a conference championship in 30 years. On Thursday, September 5, just days before his first home opener as head coach, the three-time Grey Cup champion served notice to the football communities in Edmonton, the province of Alberta, and CIS that the best were signing with the Evergreen and Gold.

Sitting at tables on the Foote Field turf, framed around the big ‘A’, the 10 high school recruits from across the province of Alberta signed Letters of Intent (LOI), and declared that they want to be part of Morris’ Golden Bears revival. By signing a LOI, the recruits have entered into an agreement to play CIS football for the Golden Bears program once they finish high school and are accepted into the U of A. The LOI also prevents other CIS coaches from recruiting the athletes.

Two of the recruits (Korte and Rae) are starters for Team Canada’s under 18 squad; eight of the 10 recruits (Korte, Rae, Kopczynski, Sloboda, Normandeau, Creighton, McQuay, and Grannum) have started for Alberta’s U-18 team, which has earned a silver medal at the past two national championship tournaments; two (Kerr and Korte) are starters with the No.2 ranked tier one high school team in the province, the Spruce Grove Panthers, while McQuay plays for the No.1 ranked tier one high school team in the province, the Notre Dame Pride.

“This group of young men is the prototypical Alberta Golden Bears football recruits of the future,” stated Morris. “All of these young men have displayed excellence both in the classroom and on the field; they are all relentless competitors who will do whatever it takes to reach their full potential both on and off the field. We are proud to welcome them to the Golden Bear’s family.”

The Golden Bears (0-1) will play the UBC Thunderbirds (0-1) this Saturday, September 7 at 5:00 pm MT in their 2013 home opener.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.