2014 CIS Football Player to Watch: Mercer Timmis, Calgary Dinos

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Source: Ben Matchett, Calgary Sports Info / Photocredit David Moll

Name: Mercer Timmis
University: Calgary
Hometown: Burlington, Ont.
High school: Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Position: Running Back
Academic program: Haskayne School of Business
Year of eligibility: 3
Height: 6-1
Weight: 210

Key stats 2013: Led the nation with 1,157rushing yards; set Canada West records in rushing TDs (18) andtotal TDs (19).

Averaged 6.9 yards per carry and 144.6 yards pergame.

Awards & honours (since start of CIScareer): 2013 first-team All-Canadian; 2013 Canada WestMVP; 2013-14 University of Calgary male athlete of the year; 2013Mitchell Bowl MVP, 2013 Hardy Cup MVP

PROFILE

In the span of their six straight Canada West titles, theUniversity of Calgary Dinos have relied on one aspect of theoffence most of all: the ground game.

The last four Dinos tailbacks have all reached All-Canadianstature – and the current guy might just be the best of themall.

Following in the footsteps of Anthony Woodson, Matt Walter, andSteven Lumbala – all three of which made it to the CanadianFootball League – Mercer Timmis has made a name for himselfin just two seasons of CIS football. His record-breaking sophomoreseason in 2013 saw him lead the nation in rushing and find the endzone more than any other player in conference history over thecourse of a season.

All that ended with a loss in the Vanier Cup, though, and Timmisused that as motivation in his off-season workouts.

“All I did was watch film and watch that game over andover again,” said the Haskayne School of Business studentfrom Burlington, Ont. “You don’t really need any moremotivation than that.”

“He’s a young man who didn’t back down fromthe challenge of being put into a program behind Steven Lumbala.Right away, that says a lot about him,” said Dinos head coachBlake Nill. “He’s a hardworking kid who plays the gamean old-fashioned way, where he understands that his preparation isthe key. He’s not going to leave anything to chance,he’s just going to flat-out outwork guys.

“I truly believe he’s the best back in thecountry.”

Timmis reported to camp in Calgary after a rigorous off-seasontraining program back home in Ontario that saw him put on weightand increase his already-explosive speed, and he will look to leadthe Dinos on their quest again in 2014. But, as always, he’snot complacent.

“Of course our goal is to get back to the Vanier Cup, butwe can’t look past our conference, which is tough everyyear,” Timmis said. “We just have to work on finishingas a team and, personally, it’s something I want to succeedin.”

The reigning Canada West MVP and a first-team All-Canadian,Timmis certainly brings plenty to the table for the Dinosoffence.

“He gives you breakaway speed, he has good hands, and hehas tremendous inside run power – if you don’t wrap himup, he’ll just break the tackle and lean forward for anotherthree yards,” said Nill. “He is the key to our game– you have to start by stopping him, or we’ll just runthe ball the entire game. And that tightens up the defence, andthat opens up the passing game.”

“I think our team is looking amazing,” Timmis saidbefore the team departed for Quebec City and a non-conferenceVanier Cup rematch against Laval. “We have so much depth ondefence, our linebackers and DBs are flying around the ball realwell. We have a great group of backs, and our offence is going tobe really explosive.”

Calgary opens against the Alberta Golden Bears on Friday, Sept.5 when they host KICKOFF at McMahon Stadium to wrap up theUniversity of Calgary’s Orientation Week. The tailgate in theeast parking lot gets going at 3:30 p.m., with the game set to getunderway just after 5:30 p.m., live on CanadaWest.tv.

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