Jordan Yantz has football success written all over him. It has carried over to whatever province he’s travelled – whether that be with Winston Knoll Collegiate in Regina, the Vancouver Island Raiders in British Columbia, or, currently, the Manitoba Bisons.
A Canada West All-Star in his first year with Manitoba, a trip to the 2014 East West Bowl, and, more recently, a training camp invite with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are just a few of the accolades Yantz has accumulated during his time with the Bisons.
While many teammates and coaches know what kind of person Yantz is, the general public may not be so familiar. For this reason, the Manitoban has decided to begin a monthly segment with the all-star QB in order to get to know the man in the helmet.
The Manitoban: How has the off-season been so far?
Jordan Yantz: It’s going well. The facilities are awesome for us. Our strength and conditioning coach Matt Barr is doing a fantastic job pushing us to the right extent of making us better athletes. The speed training we do with coach [Alex] Gardiner is absolutely fantastic as well, and it honestly shows. I think that when we step on the field, every team is going to know.
M: You’ll be getting all but one receiver [Andrew Smith] back for the upcoming season. Is that a big factor for chemistry and knowing players’ tendencies?
Yantz: Absolutely. Me being in my first year, I’d like to say up until halfway through the season, I was still learning the wide receivers, as well as the playbook, and the new style of play. All of the receivers and myself have been together this whole off-season, and I think we can just take our game to a whole new level, as far as different routes, different depths, different everything, and our chemistry can only get that much better.
M: Losing All-Canadian Anthony Coombs definitely hurts. How do you think Kienan LaFrance will step in?
Yantz: I think Kienan is going to do a fantastic job. I think people say too much, “What are you going to do without Coombs?” I believe Kienan is going to be above and beyond what people say he can be, and I’m excited to work with him in the backfield; he’s a very strong, powerful, and explosive guy. He’ll work for every yard. He’s a grinder and I’m really excited for him.
M: Switching gears to your time in British Columbia, how did Matt “Snoop” Blokker, the former head coach with Vancouver Island and current coach of the Calgary Colts, impact your development as a QB?
Yantz: I lived in the basement suite of his house for my first two years [with Vancouver Island], and it was crazy, because my second year, I got pulled and I never played again until the national championship. There was some tension there, and after it was all said and done, you look back at it and [Blokker’s] like, “I did that for a reason. I felt like you could do better and push yourself.” I give him credit for that, and making me the player that I am.
M: Returning to the subject of the Bisons, looking at the schedule for the upcoming season, and talking to some other players, it’s hard not to mention Calgary. That’s the stepping-stone for you guys. Is there any extra focus put on those two games this year, and especially the final game of the year at home?
Yantz: It’s one game at a time, but you circle the ones when you play against those [Calgary] Dinos. When I heard our home schedule, and we get to host Calgary with our crowd behind us, we’ve had a solid turnout for a number of games, so I can’t wait to get them in our barn.
I’m not going to talk smack or anything like that, but you’re going to see a whole different team this year with the Bisons. We’re going to be excited, and ready to go.