Monday, 3 December 2018

The time for Nyhus to shine with Huskies has arrived

The Huskies will be Mason Nyhus’s team to lead.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team graduated a star quarterback, but they have a signal caller in waiting that might become a bigger star.
    Veteran Kyle Siemens went out on a high quarterbacking the Huskies in his fifth and final year of eligibility. He guided them to their first playoff victory since 2009, first Canada West Conference championship since 2006 and first appearance in a U Sports national semifinal bowl since 2006.
    Siemens 604 total career pass completions in the regular season rank first on the Huskies all-time list and his 7,932 career yards passing in the regular season rates second overall in team history. He completed 604-of-998 passes for 7,932 yards, 55 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
    For any successor, those are huge shoes to fill.
    The Huskies have a player that might end up being more than capable of filling those shoes.
    Back in 2016, Mason Nyhus came to the Huskies as highly-touted prospect from the Riffle High School Royals football team in Regina. To put it bluntly, Nyhus was a blue chipper.
    Nyhus, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 190 pounds, quarterbacked Saskatchewan’s provincial team to a bronze medal win at the 2015 Football Canada Cup in Saint Jean, Que. At the International Bowl series that ran Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2016 in Arlington, Texas, Nyhus was calling signals for Canada’s under-18 team.
Mason Nyhus throws a pass in a controlled scrimmage in 2016.
    In July of 2016, Nyhus was a member of Canada’s Junior National Team that won the International Federation of American Football under-19 World Championship in Harbin, China.
    Since Nyhus stepped foot on the U of S campus, there has been anticipation among football followers in Saskatchewan to see what he could do as the starting quarterback of the Huskies. Nyhus put on a display in the Huskies controlled scrimmage against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in 2016 firing lasers all over the field, which further added anticipation to him becoming a starter one day.
    Nyhus has enough talent that Huskies coaches could have chosen to start him as a rookie in 2016, but most quarterbacks that start in U Sports right out of high school endure their share of rough waters and bumps.
    The Huskies coaching staff wisely elected give Nyhus the chance to get acclimatized to the U Sports game. He was redshirted his rookie year in 2016, which was the last campaign the Huskies were guided by legendary head coach Brian Towriss.
    For the past two seasons under the team’s new head coach in Scott Flory, Nyhus backed up Siemens.
    In 2017, Nyhus came off the bench completing 15 of 22 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 
Mason Nyhus took part in Roughriders training camp.
    Last May and June, the 20-year-old attended Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp as part of the CFL’s Canadian quarterback internship program.
    This past season for the Huskies, Nyhus completed 28-of-47 passes for 448 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
    He will be going into his third season of U Sports eligibility as a 21-year-old next season, and it will be his time to shine.
    During his spot duty with the Huskies, Nyhus has shown great poise and good command of the Huskies offence. He throws the ball downfield with a purpose, and he knows where he wants to attack a defence.
    There is a very good chance the Huskies won’t miss a beat on offence when Nyhus takes over as the starting quarterback. He has been groomed for this moment.
    Of course, there is always a chance someone else could rise up to become the Huskies new starting quarterback, but in all reality, that is Nyhus’s job to lose.
    Nyhus will have a whole host of receivers to get the ball out to who will be that much more seasoned and experienced in Jesse Kuntz, Carter Dahl and Joseph Trumpy. The Huskies expect to get star pass catcher Sam Baker back from injury and running back Colton Klassen became a star receiver cementing himself as the Huskies most dynamic offensive weapon.
    The Huskies will return powerhouse running back Adam Machart and will have a strong offensive line anchored by Mattland Riley, Nicholas Summach, Connor Berglof and Tanner Secord.
Mason Nyhus calls a play from his wristband.
    The Huskies next challenge will be to try and make long playoff runs like the one they were just on a habit. Having Nyhus under centre makes that challenge something that can be met.
    With that said, Flory has hit the recruiting trail hard since the Huskies fell in the Mitchell Bowl in London, Ont., 47-24 to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs on Nov. 17.
    Since returning to Saskatoon, Flory has received commitments from defensive lineman Nicholas Dheilly from Regina. Dheilly played for the University of Regina Rams in 2016 and 2017.
    He was the Canada West rookie of the year in 2016 and a Canada West all-star in 2017. He played in the Canadian Junior Football League this past season with the Okanagan Sun in Kelowna, B.C.
Dheilly originally committed to the Huskies in 2016, but ended up with the Rams as the Huskies were going through changes on their coaching staff.
    The Huskies signed receiver D’Sean Mimbs from Winston Knoll Collegiate in Regina, linebacker Ramsey Derbas and running back Tanner Szakacs from Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon.
    Also committing to the Huskies is quarterback Keegan Kaytor from Regina’s Sheldon-Williams Collegiate and defensive back Aiden Sommacal from Saskatoon’s St. Joseph High School.
    Last Saturday, the Huskies football team gave a final celebration to the 2018 campaign with their team awards banquet at the Cathedral of the Holy Family. Siemens was named the most valuable player on offence, fourth-year defensive lineman Evan Machibroda was named the most valuable player on defence and fifth-year running back Tyler Chow took overall most valuable player honours.
Mason Nyhus follows through on a pass.
    Fifth-year defensive end Tristian Koronkiewicz was named the lineman of the year, fifth-year kicker Sean Stenger was the special teams player of the year, second-year linebacker Thomas Whiting was named the most improved player, Klassen claimed the coaches award and defensive back Charlie Ringland was the freshman of the year.
    The graduating veterans like Siemens, Chow, Koronkiewicz and Stenger showed the Huskies can win conference titles and compete on the national stage again.
    Now players like Nyhus, the rest of the returnees and new recruits are passed the torch to take the Huskies into the future. The belief is there that future will be a bright one.

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