There’s a new-look Jack Creighton quarterbacking the Saint Mary’s Huskies at training camp.
“I’ve lost a little bit of the spare tire,” he said with a grin.
It’s not that the sophomore pivot was Porky Pig last fall. At six-foot-four and 200 pounds he stepped in as the Huskies’ starter at mid-season and captured championship game MVP en route to an Atlantic University Sport football title.
But he didn’t put much preparation into last season because it was supposed to be a red-shirt campaign. Injuries to Hec Crighton winner Erik Glavic forced him into action.
“He was in brutal shape last year,” Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah said bluntly, laughing at the memory. “It was almost embarrassing what kind of shape he was in.
“He didn’t expect to play, he didn’t understand a thing about nutrition, he could just throw a ball.”
Creighton, whose father Adam played 708 games in the NHL, has cleaned up his diet and is down to a healthy 195 pounds. It doesn’t sound like a big drop, but combined with a strengthened arm, he could be more dangerous in the pocket.
“His durability is better,” Sumarah said. “He felt at the end of last year his arm strength had dropped down. Now he can throw that wide-side ball and he just feels healthier.”
After finishing with 198 yards and two touchdowns in the AUS final, Creighton endured growing pains in a national semifinal loss to the Western Ontario Mustangs, tossing a pair of second-quarter interceptions that resulted in touchdowns.
Sumarah said at the time Creighton “played his guts out.” The experience certainly hasn’t hurt him.
“It’s a lot easier now,” he said. “I know what I’m doing. We have some new things in the playbook but it’s pretty much the same kind of stuff. I’m a lot calmer in the pocket.”