2014 CIS Football Team Preview: Regina Rams

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Source: Braden Konschuh, Regina SportsInfo

2013 regular season record: 2-6
2013 regular season standings: 5th, CanadaWest
2013 playoff record: DNQ

After graduating 20 fifth-year players and losing another two tothe professional ranks following the 2012 campaign, the Universityof Regina Rams fielded a youthful roster last season and ended upmissing the postseason with a 2-6 Canada West record.

The Rams will be a much more experienced team in 2014, returningnine starters on the offensive side of the ball and eight defensivestarters. All-Canadian wide receiver Addison Richards leads the wayfor an offence that will be controlled by quarterback CaymanShutter, while cornerback Tevaughn Campbell was also anAll-Canadian last season and will be counted upon to lead atalented and athletic defensive backfield for the Rams.

Training camp starts Aug. 21 and leads up to a homenon-conference game against Manitoba on Aug. 29. The Rams open theCanada West schedule against UBC on Sept. 5 at Mosaic Stadium inRegina.

Quote from head coach:

“Canada West is a tough, physical league and therewon’t be any easy games on the schedule. But we’ve gotguys coming back with a year of experience under their belts and wefeel that we’ve shored up key positions with some qualityrecruits we’ve got coming in. I think we’ll be able torun the ball more consistently on offence this year anddefensively, we’ll be aggressive and have the ability toswitch up our coverages. We want to make the playoffs this year andI think we’ve got a real chance to challenge for the HardyCup.” – Frank McCrystal

Head Coach:

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2014):16th (31st including CJFL era)
– Career regular season record in CIS: 57-62-1
– Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only):64-73-1

OFFENCE

Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players:

• SB Jared Janotta was a Canada West all-star in 2012 andenters his fifth and final season of CIS eligibility. Janotta hashad 44 catches in each of the past two seasons and needs 42 more tosurpass former teammate Mark McConkey as the conference’sall-time receptions leader.

• OL Kyle Paterson broke into the team’s startinglineup last year and was a mainstay at left guard before missingthe final two weeks of the conference schedule due to injury.Paterson was selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFLDraft back in May, but will return for his fourth season ofeligibility this year and will be counted upon to help anchor theline.

• OL Aaron Picton entered 2013 as the only returningstarter on the line, but missed half the year due to an injury. Theversatile Picton – who made starts at right tackle, rightguard, and centre last season – is expected to return to fullstrength and is considered a solid prospect for the 2015 CFLDraft.

• WR Addison Richards enjoyed a breakout season in 2013,earning second-team All-Canadian status after leading the Rams inreceptions (46) and finishing second on the team in receiving yards(614). Like Picton, Richards will likely be a high selection in the2015 CFL Draft.

• QB Cayman Shutter returns for his second year with theRams and his final season of CIS eligibility. Shutter led CanadaWest and was third in the CIS with 180 pass completions lastseason, the second-highest total in school single-season history.Shutter also piled up 2428 passing yards and 13 touchdown passesdespite missing the team’s Week 6 win over Alberta with aninjury.

Key recruits or transfers:

• OL Tristain Hoath (Saskatoon Hilltops) is expected tomake an immediate impact on the line for the Rams. He was a PrairieFootball Conference all-star and a CJFL All-Canadian last season asa left tackle for the Hilltops.

• RB Atlee Simon (Thom Collegiate) attended Harvest CityChristian Academy in Regina but played high school football withthe Trojans. With two-year starting running back Michael Kiapwaynot returning, Simon could see significant playing time for theRams his first season on campus.

Key losses: RB Michael Kiapway, SB MarkMcConkey, WR Kolten Solomon

DEFENCE

Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players:

• DB Tevaughn Campbell was a second-team All-Canadian lastseason, leading the team with six passes defended and adding 26solo tackles, eight assisted tackles, two tackles for lossincluding a sack, and a pair of fumble recoveries. Also electric onkick returns, Campbell still has three seasons of eligibilityremaining with the Rams.

• LB Connor Ketchen emerged as the team’s startingmiddle linebacker last year in his second season on campus. Ketchenfinished second on the Rams with 41½ total tackles and had a59-yard interception return in Week 1 at Saskatchewan – thefifth longest in school history.

• LB Michael Stefanovic was a bright spot for the Rams lastseason, taking over at outside linebacker despite only being in hisfirst season of eligibility after redshirting in 2012. AllStefanovic did was lead the Rams in total tackles (44) and leadCanada West outright with eight tackles for loss during theconference schedule, including three sacks in Week 3 alone.

• DL Ryan Wellman is currently on the practice roster ofthe Saskatchewan Roughriders, but the Rams feel they have a goodchance at getting the fifth-year defensive end back for his finalCIS season. Wellman has 89 tackles, 18½ tackles for lossincluding 6½ sacks, and five pass deflections over his fourseasons with the Rams.

Key recruits or transfers:

• Coming off a fine OVFL season, DB Kadeem Ellis (TorontoThunder) is expected to make an immediate impact for the Rams.Ellis will bolster an athletic defensive backfield that loses onlyone starter from 2013.

• LB Zack McEachern (Calgary Colts) could challenge for astarting position at linebacker. McEachern was an All-Canadian lastyear for the Colts and will have three seasons of CIS eligibilityat the U of R.

Key losses: DB Brady Aulie, DL Logan Brooks, DBRyan Filyk, DL Calvin Smith

SPECIALTEAMS

Key returning players:

• KR Tevaughn Campbell set a school record with 369 puntreturn yards during the conference schedule, 75 of which came onthe fourth-longest return in U of R history in Week 2 againstCalgary. Campbell also had a 71-yard kickoff return in Week 1 atSaskatchewan and ended up averaging 10.9 yards per punt return and25.8 yards per kickoff return.

Key recruits or transfers:

• P/K Andrew Fabian is expected to stabilize theteam’s kicking game with the graduation of Taylor Wandler.Fabian, who comes to the Rams after kicking for the Calgary Coltsfor five seasons, will have two years of CIS eligibility at the Uof R.

Key losses: P/K Taylor Wandler

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