September 1 marks the first day that U Sports football programs can sign grade 12 recruits for the 2021-22 season and the Regina Rams wasted no time inking some local prospects.

The University of Regina’s football program announced the commitments of wide receiver Ethan Marshall, defensive back Joe Vogelsang, linebacker Kaeden Brennan and defensive end Lucas Dakiniewich.

All four of the players play for Dr. Martin Leboldus High School in Regina. What made this moment even more memorable, is that Vogelsang, Brennan and Marshall have known each other for over a decade.

“I went to school with them since kindergarten,” Vogelsang, who added committing to the program alongside his “buddies” was a large part of the reasons for wanting to go to the U of R.

“Growing up with them, I thought what better way to play as a team than when you play with people you’ve known your whole life,” said Brennan.

“University gets to be a pretty high level of football and I think it’s awesome that we’ve been able to stay together and keep performing at that high level,” added Marshall.

Dakiniewich has known the trio since grade 9, the first year they played together at LeBoldus. However he has a tie to the Rams the other’s don’t.

“My brother goes there and it’s awesome, it’s local, it’s really good,” said Dakiniewich.

All the Suns have an upper hand when entering the program, for different reasons. The defenders were coached by former Ram, Danny Nesbitt, who worked with LeBoldus in 2019.

“We learned the Rams defence through him, that’s what we ran as a highschool, a similar defensive format,” noted Brennan.

Marshall, the lone offensive player in the bunch, has some chemistry with currents Rams quarterback Josh Donnelly, who led the Suns to a three 4A provincial titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Marshall worked with Donnelly when the recruit was a Suns-rookie.

“When I posted [that I was committing], [Donnolley] DM’d me, and he let me know that he was happy that I was joining him on the Rams,” Marshall said.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, Rams Head Coach Mark McConkey hasn’t been allowed to meet with the recruits in person. Only texting, phone calls and video conferences are permitted. But that hasn’t taken away from the moment.

“I was stoked, I was really excited to get those texts, and I’m really excited to be part of the Rams now, it’s awesome,” said Dakiniewich.

Sadly, the foursome likely won’t get an opportunity to defend their 2019 Provincial Title with the Golden Suns, as provincial championships have been cancelled for the time being.

Vogelsang is already looking ahead to 2020.

“Hope for the best prepare for the worst kind of thing, we’ll see what happens.”