During the 2021 and 2022 USports football seasons Huskies quarterback Mason Nyhus has become one of the best players at the USports level. In 2021, Nyhus lead the Huskies to the Vanier Cup but unfortunately, the Huskies lost to Western 27-21. The Huskies made another run to the Vanier Cup championship game after winning 10 of their first 11 games to start the 2022 season.
During the game against Laval, Nyhus had a successful game and went 34/43 for 344 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Despite Nyhus’ outstanding performance, Laval defeated the Huskies 30 to 24. Although Nyhus has been unable to lead the Saskatchewan Huskies to a Vanier Cup victory, he has built a reputation for himself in the world of Canadian football.
Nyhus is a native of Regina, SK, and with his success with the Huskies, it could be projected that he could be a great fit for the quarterback position for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL. The Roughriders felt this way when they added Nyhus to their negotiation list with hopes to continue his pursuit of championships while playing in Saskatchewan.
Projections are not always correct, the Roughriders made a contract offer to sign Nyhus, but the offer was turned down by Nyhus. Why did he turn down the chance to continue his quarterback legacy within the Saskatchewan community? He reasoned that he wanted to pursue other personal and professional interests. So what could Nyhus’s motivation for turning down the chance to play quarterback for the Roughriders?
Roughriders Team Dysfunction
One reason Nyhus may have turned down the contract offer from the Roughriders is due to the dysfunctional atmosphere that currently defines the Saskatchewan franchise. At the start of the 2022 season, there were high hopes that the Roughriders could earn the chance to play for the Grey Cup in their home stadium. But after a series of on-field altercations, suspensions, and bad press, the Roughriders started a downward spiral.
In the final six games of the season, Saskatchewan still had a chance to be a crossover team and many Roughriders fans hopes for a historic crossover run that would allow them to be the first crossover team to win the Grey Cup. But after more dysfunction, the Tiger-Cats knocked them out of the playoffs and ended a dismal season. In the off-season, the Roughriders continued to struggle as they were looking for a new offensive coordinator. Eventually, they had to settle for a coach that was already on staff to be the new offensive play-caller.
Nyhus would be an instant fan favorite for a Roughriders fan base looking for something to be positive about, but that may put a lot of pressure on Nyhus. At this point in his career, Nyhus has only played in positive team atmospheres and is synonymous with on-field success.
If he chose to be a part of the Roughriders and failed to live up to expectations, it could damage the reputation he has built for himself. So rather than take the risk, Nyhus will look for other more attainable career choices that leave many positive memories of his career as a quarterback.
Other professional football opportunities
Nyhus could be looking at the current excitement that has been created by Nathan Rourke and the BC Lions. Rourke had a breakout season in 2022 with the Lions, and the entire CFL became very excited that Rourke was showing that a Canadian quarterback could potentially be the best team in the CFL which has not been the case since 1969. Instead of sticking with the Lions for another year, Rourke decided to take his shot with the NFL and attain financial success that the CFL teams can not match.
Nyhus could be projecting that he could find on-field success in more financially lucrative situations. The obstacle to this line of thought is that Rourke is the exception to the performance of Canadian quarterbacks and Nyhus would need to get an opportunity with a willing CFL team and show that he is worthy of respect as a professional quarterback. The Roughriders represented that opportunity, and he chose to not pursue that professional pathway.
Non-football career options
During his time as a quarterback with the Saskatchewan Huskies Nyhus earned two degrees and there is demand for him to enter the academic world as a teacher. While a profession in academics may not have the glamour of being a professional quarterback it may be a fulfilling career for Nyhus. Ultimately, Nyhus needs to make the decision that will be best for him, and a career in education or other fields may be his calling.
The Roughriders have removed Nyhus from their negotiation list so the non-football route does seem to be the most likely decision for him and his career choice. The memories that Nyhus created for football fans in Saskatchewan have brought excitement and happiness to many fans of the Huskies and it will be interesting to see what ultimately brings Mason Nyhus personal happiness.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
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January 16, 2023 at 11:03 am
The Roughriders have their contracts turned down by local QB talent and Nathan Rourke jumps ship for a minimum NFL contract. The CFL should be implementing a policy that maximizes the chances to obtain new talent and keep established talent. The salary cap is too low to accomplish such. There should be signing bonuses and top rank salaries equitable to the NFL minimum, that when combined with playing time, would be a big attraction to keep our best players in the CFL for as long as possible.