Huskies expecting big things from rookie running back

The Saint Mary’s Huskies are expecting running back Tristan Jones to make an immediate impact.

The Saint Mary’s Huskies are expecting running back Tristan Jones to make an immediate impact.

The Huskies, who officially announced their 2009 recruiting class yesterday, were quick to single out Jones as the name to watch from a list of more than 20 players.

“He came in January and has been with us (training) since and he’s a phenomenal talent,” said Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah. “I can see him being — easily — a thousand-yard rusher, for sure. He’ll be in our top three right away.”

Jones, the younger brother of current Huskies running back Devon and the son of former Edmonton Eskimos star Milson, won the Wally Buono Award as the country’s most outstanding junior player in 2007. He also holds Canadian Junior Football League records for single-season rushing yards (1,903), rushing touchdowns (25) and points (156).

He had been recruited by the powerhouse Laval Rouge et Or last season and reported to their training camp. But Sumarah said he wasn’t content there and voluntarily left.

Jones eventually landed at Saint Mary’s after visiting Halifax in October to watch his brother play.

“He’s pretty excited about the whole thing,” Sumarah said.

Devon, whose CJFL numbers weren’t as gaudy as Tristan’s, averaged 101 yards a game as a rookie.

Linebacker Aaron Crawford from Medicine Hat, Alta., is another key recruit, offering “great speed and ball pursuit” with the potential to “be in the mix right away.”

Offensive linemen Guillaume Gagnier of Montreal and Dartmouth natives Kyle Whalen and Matt Albright are among the others who Sumarah is high on. Kicker/receiver Brett Lauther of the Cobequid Cougars is also capable of contributing.

The Huskies, who made it to the national semifinal last year, open training camp on Aug. 29 at Huskies Stadium.

 
 
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