WINNIPEG — He’s had stops in the British Columbia Football Conference (BCFC) and almost cracked the Lions CFL roster, but local recruit Derek Yachison is finally back home, after five years away pursuing his professional football dreams.
When he returned to Winnipeg this winter, the 23-year old still had hopes of cracking a pro roster, but in the back of his mind, he knew he had two years of CIS eligibility left to use if no CFL teams came calling.
“Over the winter I met a lot with [University of Manitoba Bisons] head coach [Brian] Dobie and things slowly happened but it was a good process. I committed in the winter time so that I knew I had a plan in place if needed, Yachison said.”
A graduate of Winnipeg’s Murdoch Mackay Collegiate, the veteran fills an immediate void at receiver for the herd with the graduation of both Alex Vitt and Bryden Bone at slotback, as well as Dustin Pedersen at wideout.
WATCH: Global’s Michael Still talks with Derek Yachison Thursday
“The offence is explosive — it was explosive last year — there’s tons of good players who are here already, but I feel that I can add my talents, my experience right away too, so with those key losses I feel I can come in and make an impact right off the bat,” said Yachison.
Yachison’s accomplishments while in the west coast speak for themselves. During his five years playing with Kamloops of the BCFC, he was a two-time All-Star, and in 2015 set a new BCFC single-season record for receptions, with 73. He was also honoured as the Canadian Junior Football League’s (CJFL) Outstanding Offensive Player that same year.
For Dobie, being able to recruit a pro-ready player like Yachison was a must, especially considering the above mentioned losses, as well as Malcolm Williams to the Toronto Argonauts.
“That’s where we’ve taken the biggest hit is at receiver,” said Dobie. “I’ll say it, it was imperative, it was necessary that we signed Derek Yachison, there’s no question about it.”