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Dressler looks forward to CFL debut
It took Weston Dressler only a matter of weeks to make an impact during his freshman season at UND.
Nothing has changed now that Dressler is a professional football player.
Dressler not only made the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 46-man roster, but the former Sioux standout is expected to be in the starting lineup for the team’s Canadian Football League season opener Saturday night against Edmonton.
“Right now, I’m just trying to focus on the next day so I can get better,” Dressler said. “I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning a lot. I’m not looking too far ahead.”
Since the start of the team’s training camp in early June, Dressler has been impressive. His speed, sure hands and big-play ability has generated considerable attention.
Earlier this week, Saskatchewan coach Ken Miller announced that Dressler likely would make his pro debut as a starting receiver. He’s also expected to return punts.
Dressler already has received considerable media attention in Regina.
Dressler’s statistics didn’t stand out in Saskatchewan’s two preseason games, but his training camp performance landed him a starting position.
“I’m going out on a limb again and saying (Dressler) is a rare player who doesn’t come into this league very often,” Miller told Regina reporters last week. “He will be a difference-maker in this league, maybe not at the beginning of the season, but later on.”
Dressler, who is the fastest player on the Saskatchewan roster, played at UND as a true freshman. The 5-foot-7, 179-pound All-American left the Sioux program with 19 school records.
Dressler signed a two-year deal in May with Saskatchewan, which left him playing pro ball six hours away from his Bismarck home.
Dressler said it took time to become accustomed to the different rules in the CFL, which has a longer, wider field in addition to 12 players on offense and defense.
“The defense looked strange to me right away,” he said. “It was a different concept than what I was used to. But it’s been fun up here. The fans here are great. They really get excited for football.”
Saturday’s game in Regina is expected to draw a capacity crowd of 28,000 at Mosaic Stadium. Saskatchewan has sold approximately 22,000 season tickets this season as the Roughriders shoot for their second straight Grey Cup title.
“Our goal is to get back to the Grey Cup,” Dressler said. “Repeats haven’t happened very much in our league. But that’s our goal.”
Dressler isn’t the only ex-UND standout playing for the Roughriders.
Former UND defensive lineman Scott Schultz, a CFL all-star, is in his eighth season with Saskatchewan.
By Wayne Dressler
Grand Forks Herald