Two seasons after earning the club’s rookie of the year honours and BCFC all-star recognition, Brennan Van Nistelrooy is back with the Okanagan Sun.
The 19-year-old safety, who played with the Sun in 2011, returns to Kelowna after spending last season at the University of Alberta.
Van Nistelrooy, who earned a starting spot with the Bears midway through 2012, said his stint in Edmonton was a good experience but wasn’t sure he wanted to return to the field this season.
But once his friends on the Sun—specifically offensive lineman Josh Troman and Dustin Ledsham with whom Brennan played high school with at Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge—learned of his plans to leave university, the phone started ringing.
“Josh and Dustin called me and then coach Beatty and (Nathan) Mollard (defensive coordinator),” said Van Nistelrooy. “I wasn’t sure I didn’t want to play, and when the guys started calling I realized I wasn’t ready to hang them up.”
While Sun head coach Shane Beatty has not seen Van Nistelrooy play, he has heard much about him both in and out of the locker room from when he was a member of the BCFC team two years ago.
“Brennan is the full package for our secondary,” Beatty said. “He is a cover guy who really likes to hit and is good at getting receivers to think twice about catching the football. He is the kind of player we want back there.
“He’s played university and from everything I hear he was a good teammate here as well. He will be a leader on our defence this year.”
Robinson joins Sun…
The Sun receiving corps got a little deeper and faster with the addition of Notre Dame High School grad Lerone Robinson.
The 6-foot-4, 165-pound receiver informed Sun head coach Shane Beatty last week that he’ll be leaving Simon Fraser University to join the BCFC team for the 2013 season.
The Sun was alerted to Robinson by former CFLer Jamie Boreham, a member of the Okanagan coaching staff last season.
Beatty said he was “ecstatic” to lock up the speed of Robinson who has been timed with a 4.49 40-yard dash.
“Lerone can really fly,” said Beatty. “He is a great kid, a great young kid and a real talent. He is a very respectful young man who adds a speed dimension to our offence that we really needed. I think now we have all the receivers to make us really dangerous there.”
With Robinson’s addition, Beatty is excited about the club’s depth at the receiver position.
“With Lerone today, Zach Regert last week plus the other group of young talent we having coming in…Deion Bain, Pierre Luc Lord, Reggie Ventose, Hartley (Tanner), Andrew MacDonald. You add this young group to the vets…all those guys. We are in really, really good shape I think.”
Robinson, 19, looks forward to joining the Sun and working with quarterbacks Cam Bedore and Theo Deezar.
“I’m two years younger than Cam Bedore, I remember watching him in high school,'” Robinson said. “He is a quality quarterback and I know they have a tall guy (Deezar) coming in from snooping around the web site, he is more of a drop back passer.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the year from coach Beatty,” added Robinson. “It sounds like we should have a pretty good team.”
Robinson and the rest of the Sun roster hit the field for the opening of training camp July 5.