Manitoba brings in one local commit and two out-of-province commits to their team.
It won’t be long now before offensive lineman Hunter Brown from Murdoch MacKay Collegiate, running back CFC100 Jamel Lyles from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School and offensive lineman Brett Stubbs from Duchess Park Secondary School bring their skill and talent to the University of Manitoba Bisons.
Hunter Brown’s long-standing dream is about to become a reality. “I’ve wanted to be a Bison every since I started high school and when I started taking football more seriously,” the product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, said.
“The history of the school is undeniable that it is a great athletic school, especially for lineman,” he added. “The coaching staff is great. Head Coach Dobie is a great coach who knows how to take some mediocre athletes and turn them into CFL prospects.”
Standing at 6’2, 330lbs, Brown hopes to join the ranks of Bison linemen who have made it pro. He said Manitoba is the number three producer of professional athletes in the U Sports league.
Brown has played four years with the North Winnipeg Nomads and with the Transcona Nationals. He spent three years with the Murdoch MacKay Clansmen (Winnipeg High School Football League). Last year, he was named the best lineman for his school. He hopes of entering law, business or criminology.
Jamel Lyles’s reasoning for choosing Manitoba is quite simple. “They have expressed the need for me to be apart of the team,” he said. “I have a great connection with some of the players on the team, so I truly believe we have everything we need to compete for a Vanier Cup.”
Lyles has already had a taste of what Manitoba can offer. Along with having experience with what he calls some of the best facilities in Canada, he is also well-acquainted with some of the Bisons’ coaches.
“I personally love Head Coach Dobie and all he has done for me on and off the field. He has taught me a lot about life and how life is a continuous roller coaster that we need to embrace because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he said.
The 5’11, 210lbs Westshore Rebel (CJFL) added that he is excited to be working with the team’s new offensive coordinator. “I believe he has the ability to adapt to the players we will have on the offense to create the best opportunities for us to score by utilizing what each of us brings to the table,” Lyles said.
In his 15-year career, the product of Surrey, BC, has played with the North Surrey Minor Football association, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (BC Secondary Schools Football Association) and Team BC.
In 2013-2014, Lyles was the third ranked running back in Canada for his class. He broke four Panthers records: most rushing yards in a season (2,400), most offensive yards in a season (2,900), most touchdowns in a season (45) and most touchdowns in one game (5). He was named the team’s MVP.
In 2014, he won a provincial championship with the North Surrey Bears, was a league MVP and the championship game’s MVP. While with the Rebels in 2016, he was a BCFC champion, First Team All-Canadian running back, the CJFL most outstanding offensive player, BCFC MVP and his team’s MVP. He was also the team’s special teams and offensive player of the year.
In his 13 games with the Rebels, Lyles had 2104 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns and 3045 all-purpose yards. His play broke Ander Harris’s record for rushing yards (1604) and touchdowns, along with breaking the BCFC all-purpose record.
It was in Bellingham, Washington, that Brett Stubbs came to life, but he currently calls Prince George, BC, home. Now, he will be heading off to Winnipeg to play for a team he said has had a lot of success in the past.
“When I went to play in the Red River Cup back in 2014, I got to have a tour of the facility and (after) meeting Head Coach Dobie and playing on that field, I knew I wanted to go here,” Stubbs said.
The five-year veteran spent his high school days with the Duchess Park Condors (BCSSFA). He has also played with Team BC at the Red River Cup and the ABC Border Bowl. In 2015, he was named as the Northern All-Star’s defensive MVP and provincial all-star. He also was an all-star this past season.
Alongside football, Stubbs has also found success on the wrestling circuit. He is a two-time zone champion and was ranked fourth in BC at the provincial level two years in a row.
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