Four days into the University of Manitoba Bisons football team's training camp, head coach Brian Dobie is blushing with the embarrassment of talent he finds himself with at the most pivotal position -- quarterback.
John Makie returns from leading Manitoba to an 8-0 regular season record as the team's starting quarterback, while backup Nathan Friesen is back to push Makie for the starting role.
Then there is highly touted St. Pauls High School recruit Kevin Hayes, who Dobie says could start for almost any CIS team in the nation. But, Dobie doesn't want Hayes to even take a snap this season and hopes to redshirt the freshman to save his eligibility.
"I do not want Kevin Hayes, who is probably going to have great college career, to waste a year of eligibility at the No. 3 spot," Dobie said.
But that doesn't mean he isn't capable.
"Kevin is a CIS quarterback right now. ... There's no question about it. Now, he's a rookie of out high school. There's a difference in Kevin Hayes in 2007 and Kevin Hayes in 2008 or even 2010 or 2011. He's already starting way up the scale. Where is his ceiling? It's way, way up there.
"He's going to have the opportunity to progress with the mentoring and everything that comes with that from John Makie and Nate Friesen. That's going to make him a great, great quarterback through his university years."
Even though the majority of programs in the CIS wanted his services, Hayes only saw the benefits of staying in Winnipeg and playing for the Bisons.
"It's just a great program and great history," the young pivot said. "I didn't see any point in going far away to go to school when I can play for one of the best programs in the country and stay right here."
With Hayes now in the program for the next handful or so of years, Dobie figures he has the best group of quarterbacks on his squad since his team went to the Vanier Cup in 2001.
"It would certainly be the best we've had since Shane Munson and Brad Sarna," Dobie said.
"Shane Munson was a great quarterback. He was an All-Canadian and took us to a Vanier Cup, so I reserve final judgment based on that.
"With adding Kevin Hayes to it, I would say overall, it is the best three we've ever had."
But for this year it is Makie's team and he is all about erasing last season's 32-15 loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Canada West final.
"It's heartbreaking and makes for a very long off-season," the No.1 QB said.
"It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You almost want to skip the regular season and go straight to the playoffs."
SOCCER HOPES: It's the start of their third season, but the University of Manitoba Bisons women's soccer team is still looking for their first playoff spot.
They started their season on a positive note Monday afternoon with a 2-1 win in Grand Forks, N.D. against the University of North Dakota in an exhibition match.
"Things are looking pretty good," head coach Walt McKee.
"We have eight rookies coming in. Our veteran players are at the midpoint of their eligibility.
"Last year it was our goal to make the top six and this year it will be the same thing."
The top six teams in the Canada West conference make the playoffs.