While everyone has been wondering when the Roughriders first overall draft pick will show up at camp, last year’s first round pick has been on the field, continually impressing his coaches.
Nic Demski was taken sixth overall in the 2015 CFL Draft and was a shining light in the Roughriders rather dim 2015 season.
A new coaching staff can be a little nerve-wracking for even the most seasoned player – especially one that came in and made so many roster moves – but Demski continues to show them exactly what he’s made of.
“He’s a versatile, versatile player. He’s exactly what I thought he was: a guy that can play running back or receiver, he’s a returner. He’s a good little football player,” general manager and head coach Chris Jones said Monday morning.
Being versatile is something Jones values in all his players, and it’s something Demski himself wants to focus on. He said it doesn’t matter to him whether he’s rushing, receiving, or playing special teams – that’s not for him to decide. He just want to keep making steps forward.
“I just want to be consistent, really. I just want to be an all around player, I just want to make plays from whatever position they put me at … I just want to keep improving every year, ” he said.
He’s off to a good start.
Last season, Demski’s star arguably shined brightest on special teams where he racked up a combined 266 yards in kickoff and punt returns, including a 60-yard punt return on Labour Day for his first CFL touchdown. As a receiver, he had nine receptions for 134 yards and five rushes for 41 yards.
So far in camp, he’s been lining up as a slotback, but he is under the impression that will change as camp goes on.
“I see myself anywhere they want to put me, anywhere where they want to see me making plays,” he said.
Like most of the players on the field, the quickened pace of practice has been an adjustment for Demski, who admitted to being a little sore Sunday night. However, he said the whole team has been adjusting quickly to the pace and new coaching staff.
“They’re going to tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it … and I like that.”
Training Camp Notes:
The Roughriders added one player to the roster Monday morning, defensive lineman Jonathan Newsome. Newsome spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
“He’s a tremendous player, I watched him a couple times on film and if you saw today, he can really get after the quarterback,” Chris Jones said Monday.
Over two season with the Colts, the 25-year-old played 30 regular season games, including three starts, 7.5 quarterback sacks and four forced fumbles. He was released by the team amid dwindling 2015 numbers and a charge for possession of marijuana, which was eventually dropped.
Newsome said he’s grown up and learned from his time in Indianapolis and is ready to get back to work.
“I’m just excited to be out here with a bunch of a guys with the same passion as me,” Newsome said.
Last season, the Ball State product played 14 regular season games, registering 19 defensive tackles, one quarterback sack and one forced fumble.
- Jorgen Hus and Spencer Moore were listed by the Riders as suspended, but the team says it’s for personal reasons and both are expected to show up at camp in the coming days.
- Wide Receiver John Chiles went down making a catch in camp today and took some time to get up, he left practice to get treatment.