Rylan Sokul will not travel far for his next destination on the gridiron, but he’s looking for his game to take a leap as he moves up to the next level.
The former member of the Regina Thunder recently committed to the University of Regina Rams for the upcoming season.
On Tuesday, Sokul was a guest on the SportsCage with Michael Ball.
The receiver said he looked at some programs before settling on the Rams.
“I saw a great opportunity here in Regina, a great coaching staff and I’m excited to get working with them.”
In the Rams history, the program has developed plenty of receivers that spent time in the Canadian Football League including Addison Richards, Chris Bauman, Jordan Sisco and Mitchell Picton. Sokul said the Rams success with receivers in the past was one of the reasons he decided to join the green and gold.
“It’s always great to follow in the footsteps of great players like those guys.”
The receiver wrapped up his four-year with the Thunder last season. He finished with 134 receptions, 2125 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns during his junior football career. Sokul says junior football is a great opportunity for young players, including players with aspirations of competing at the university level.
“There are a lot of opportunities to get right on the field and develop your skills and work your way up.”
Over the past few seasons, the Thunder have turned their program into one of the elite junior teams across the country. Last year the Thunder defeated the longtime powerhouse of the Prairie Football Conference, the Saskatoon Hilltops in the PFC finals. The Thunder’s season ended when with a loss to the Okanagan Sun in the Canadian Bowl. Sokul credits the Thunder’s ability to reward players with scholarships as a key recruitment tool.
“That’s also an attractive feature that it use to be just universities offered. Being a junior program and offering those opportunities, it steps the program up.”
Now that he is moving to the U Sports ranks, Sokul says he has three years of eligibility remaining. The Wynyard product says he will be taking it year by year with the Rams
Sokul has met with Rams Head Coach Mike McConkey and believes that there is an opportunity for him to earn a role with the green and gold this upcoming season.
The Rams also recently announced the commitment of Sokul’s teammates from the Thunder, Payton O’Connor and Reed Rabbetz. The defensive linemen join the Rams after both players spent last season with the Thunder.