In this weekly feature I’ll talk to some of the young and talented amateur football players in this province. And what better way to kick it off then a chat with Hec Crighton Trophy winner, U of R Rams QB Noah Picton.
Me: So Noah have your accomplishments and being named the top player in Canada sunk in yet?
Noah: Yes I enjoyed it for awhile but now I’ve put it in the past as I prepare for 2017. I don’t want to have any distractions. I’m sure when my playing days are done I’ll look back on 2016 with great pride but not now I have too much work to get done. But I’ll admit it was a magical ride going from 0-8 the season before and having lots of team success that culminated in that honour. It’s definitely something the club can celebrate.
Me: When you got the award who were you thinking of?
Noah: Well first off I thought of all the great names that have won that trophy and what an honour it is to be mentioned with them. Then I thought about my dad Dean who helped me develop into the man and football player I am. He’s really been the biggest influence in my life.
Me: Who’s the better QB Dean or Noah?
Noah : (chuckles) Well I’ve talked to a number of people who watched both of us play and I’d have to say my dad is. Besides he’s still helping me pay the bills so I better say him!
Me: Where does Noah Picton’s game go from here?
Noah: I want to win the Vanier Cup! Personally I’m not looking to smash any records. I just want to play sound football, cut down on turnovers and lead the offence up and down the field.
Me: How does a small QB get the ball where it needs to be?
Noah: My anticipation of where my receivers are and when to throw the ball have always been my strong suit. I’m a student of game and I take pride in that and knowing what the defence wants to do against my offence.
Me: Last question. Does it bug you that because you’re a Canadian you most likely will not get a chance to continue your career in the CFL?
Noah: It’s a real tough pill to swallow but it’s a reality. Andrew Buckley in Calgary is trying to break that stigma and I’m cheering for him because he’s a really good quarterback. The biggest problem for us Canadian guys is the lack of training elite training. In the US they throw year round and have top level coaching. I think slowly but surely it’s getting better as the coaching is improving and so is the commitment to training. It might not be me but I do think we will see more Canadian guys get a crack in years to come.
(Thanks to Noah for the visit. Folks if you’re a football fan you’ll want to check in here regularly as I’m launching my own football podcast very soon. It will feature Riders guests but also have a local flavour. I’ll hope you’ll give it a listen)