SFU Football:Meet the freshmen class of 2010

Let the turnover begin.

Head coach Dave Johnson handed The Peak a list of 13 names, football players who had all signed letters of intent to suit up for the Red and White this fall.

“In our recruiting database we have 3,300 kids that we’re engaging,” said Johnson. “I think this could be an awesome recruiting class.”

Over the last two weeks it’s been all hands on deck for the football staff as the team looks to fill out a roster for the team’s upcoming debut in the NCAA’s Greater North Athletic Conference.

One area which has been addressed is the offensive line: three of the new offensive line recruits are from British Columbia, as Jacob Hall and Mattias Goosen make the jump to SFU, and Ethan Halverson, a Vancouver Island native, is expected to travel across the Georgia Strait, while Blair Warr will bring his game from Grand Prairie, Alberta.

“The offensive line was one of the areas that we felt we needed to address the most,” said Johnson. “With us losing so many guys it was an area in need.”

The Clan head coach clearly found four willing and able bodies to protect his quarterback this fall. All four players are at least 6’3’’ and hover around the 300-pound mark.

In particular, Johnson expressed praise for Goosen, who he credits as “one of the top two linemen in the province.”

“He is a guy who is a big time recruit, one of the top three in Western Canada,” said Johnson of Goosen. “Everyone’s been after him; I suspect every school in the Canada West called him.”

“I got at least six calls from camps in the States and some from Western Canada,” Goosen clarified, “but it’s a good opportunity [at SFU] as they’re the only Canadian school in the NCAA. Dave’s an up-front kind of guy and this team works hard.”

Also making their debut in SFU red and white are defensive linemen Brandon Pearson, Dylan Roper, and Matt Davidson. Described as a “very athletic and intense individual,” with Roper, size is no issue here as he and his new teammates stand at least 6’3’’ and move well given their large stature.

Said Johnson: “The quality of the recruits we have is just incredible. These kids are going to get experience. We’re going to be young, but we’re going to be big.”

Tight ends Chad Hanson and Carlos Martinez have also signed letters of intent to come to SFU. Martinez, who is also a kicker, played for Rick Hansen Secondary School this season.

SFU will also be getting an injection of offense with tailbacks Brett Fabian and Zach Secord coming aboard.

SFU pushed hard to recruit Fabian last year but had no success. This time around, Fabian fell in love with the campus and has fully committed to the team. Secord, meanwhile, will be SFU’s first Ontario recruit of the year, as the 5’9’’, 185-pound sparkplug will bring a running game akin to fellow tailback Brandon Halverson.

Johnson was particularly high on Fabian, who he stated had that gamebreaking ability and could soon become “the future of the team.”

Out of Delta comes Matt Kraft, a 6’0’’, 215-pound fullback who has also signed on to play for Johnson’s crew.

But the biggest fish that Johnson perhaps managed to catch comes from Abbotsford, the home of quarterback Greg Bowcott.

“He’s a big guy for a quarterback and he has a cannon for an arm,” explained Johnson. “He’s doing it all for his school; he goes out there four days a week to practice and plays with tremendous leadership skills.”

Presently, the Clan are finding more individuals from the United States are intrigued by the idea of receiving a Canadian education and playing the American game.

Johnson added: “We’ve always had a problem recruiting American kids to play in Canada and play Canadian football. . . . The response we’re having from the United States is unbelievable.”

The club lost over 60 players from last season, and coaching staff were faced with the task of replacing much of the roster with young talent. So far, the returns have been good.

While receiving a Canadian education has been a factor for recruiting this new crop of talent, Johnson emphasized the importance of the family-like atmosphere on his team.

“Our locker room is so healthy because we have a vision for the guys that are here,” said Johnson. “The kids we recruit are the kids we want to invest in and there’s just as much of a commitment from us to them as there is from them to us.”

With such young faces expected to don Clan uniforms next season, there’s no doubt there will be a learning curve for this club. But Johnson is confident his new recruits will be able to take the ball and run with it sooner than people think.

“I do know the group of guys we’re putting together are going to give us an enormous effort.”

By Matt Lee
Read More: [url]http://www.the-peak.ca/article/20937

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