Linebacker Danny Nesbitt, quarterback Noah Picton, running back Atlee Simon, and defensive lineman Eric Wicijowski have all been named to Team West’s roster for the week-long event, which showcases players entering their CFL draft year and kicks off with meetings on the Monday prior to the game. A combine is scheduled for Tuesday morning, with four days of practice leading up to the East-West Bowl.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for our players and a nice reward for the hard work that all four of them have put in,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “It’s a chance to be recognized nationally, and hopefully be a starting point for a professional career.”
Picton and Simon are two of the main parts in the Rams offence, which averaged just under 35 points per game and helped lead the team to a first-place finish in the Canada West standings for the first time in program history. Picton was named the recipient of the Hec Crighton Trophy as the U SPORTS Player of the Year after setting a national single-season passing yards record, while Simon rushed for 567 yards and four touchdowns last season and now has 2029 rushing yards and 17 rushing majors through his first three seasons at the U of R.
Nesbitt had a breakout season at middle linebacker for the Rams, leading the team in tackles (34 solo, 36 assisted) and also registering two interceptions, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a tackle for loss during the conference schedule. Both of Nesbitt’s interceptions came in the SaskTel Fall Classic against Saskatchewan, and a 31-yard return on his first pick helped set up a Ryan Schienbein touchdown catch that went down as the first points scored at the new Mosaic Stadium.
Wicijowski was expected to start for the Rams at defensive tackle last year for the second consecutive season, but took a redshirt year after being injured in the first game of the season. He has 21 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, five tackles for loss including two sacks, and two pass knockdowns in his career. He has three seasons of U SPORTS eligibility still remaining.
(Courtesy U of R Athletics)