Surprising twist for Bison commit

Manitoba adds a local commit to their Class of 2018.

When Noah Dornn, a receiver from St. Paul’s High School, envisioned the future, joining the University of Manitoba Bisons football team was not in the forefront.

Dornn is a ten-year veteran of the sport. However, he wasn’t expecting to be playing U Sports football. This past summer, he opted out of playing for Team Manitoba U18 in the Football Canada Cup. Instead, he played on the under-17 provincial basketball team at the Canada Games.

“In the summer, I had thought (that) I would be playing basketball in university, but after the success of this football season and the interest from universities, I decided that playing football at the next level was the right move,” Dornn said, who is from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

By Fotos by Fitz.

When faced with the decision to either stay home or move out-of-province, Dornn felt there was no need to leave the city of his birth. “It was a tough decision, having offers from Manitoba, McMaster and Saskatchewan,” he said. “Manitoba, though, always stood out, the chance to stay home and play in front of family and friends… as well as the chance to continue to play with some high school teammates was another factor.”

On top of staying home, Dornn was all for the idea of sharing facilities with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He noted that “being able to play in a CFL stadium and share a building with the Blue Bombers (and) being able to train at the facility and meet the team and build relationships far before the season begins” was an appealing aspect of committing.

“The coaching staff at Manitoba was (another) huge factor in committing to the program,” he added. “Head Coach Dobie has coached the Bisons to a Vanier Cup and has been very successful. The staff made me feel very welcome and made me feel like a real top priority and that was huge for me, going to a place that I felt believed in me and saw me really contributing to the team.”

On his visit, Dornn sat down with Coach Atkinson, the team’s offensive coordinator and receivers coach. “He made the decision much easier, being able to watch film on the offence and see where they saw me fitting in made me excited to get to work,” he said.

When Dornn’s career comes to a close, he seeks to stay close to the sport. He is interested in taking an education degree at Manitoba. “I think being a teacher is the perfect fit, being able to coach in high school and stay involved in sports,” he said.

Standing at 6’4, 190lbs, Dornn has played with the Crescentwood Grizzlies and the St. Paul’s Crusaders (Winnipeg High School Football League). He is a back-to-back ‘AAA’ champion with the Crusaders in 2016 and 2017. “It was an amazing experience to win two championships with the program, and especially to end my last high school career (game) with a championship,” he said.

Although the Bisons had a rocky season last year, Dornn still believes in the future of the team. He said that, “Manitoba has been quite a successful program and although last season wasn’t the best, the team is young and will continue to improve and compete at a high level.”

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