Jared Janotta picks football over basketball
After spending the past two campaigns with the University of Regina Cougars men’s basketball squad, Jared Janotta, who moonlights as a slotback for the University of Regina Rams, recently decided to walk away from the hardcourt.
“After thinking about it for the last little while – I looked at it from all angles and weighed all the pros and cons – I decided that it would be best for me to focus my talents on football and better myself in that area,” explained Janotta, 20, who was recently suspended indefinitely by the Cougars.
Although Janotta, who began playing basketball in the ranks of the Regina Community Basketball Association (RCBA) in elementary school and football around age 12, emphasized that his decision was a difficult one to make, the Regina product feels he made the right choice.
“I think it’s going to be a big plus for my football career,” offered Janotta, who led the Rams in receptions and receiving yards during the 2011 campaign.
“Being able to focus completely on being a receiver now, it’s going to give me an advantage going into next year. Having my legs fresh from not double-practicing everyday and only worrying about one sport, one position, is going to give me an advantage.”
Some of his fellow Rams believe Janotta made the right decision.
“In my opinion, it takes a whole lot of commitment to put that much time and effort into two sports along with school,” explained Michael Bradshaw, an offensive lineman for the Rams. “I’m sure it’ll have some ups and downs, but it’s probably a good thing that he can now get proper rest while doing the off-season training.”
“With [Janotta] on a full-time basis with the Rams, he’ll be able to get the rest that he needs, because he probably hasn’t had a rest or a month off from football or basketball since elementary school,” said Marc Mueller, the Ram’s starting quarterback, with a laugh. “For him and the Rams, this couldn’t be a better situation – but especially for him.”
Although Janotta’s performance on the gridiron will likely improve in the future, the third-year engineering student is hoping the time he would have ordinarily devoted to basketball – games, practices, and other Cougars-related activities – will help him excel in the classroom, too.
Mueller, who spent time at the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos training camp in the past, believes that Janotta may not need to put his degree to work in the immediate future.
“He’s looking at a really good possibility of playing in the CFL,” Mueller said. “He’s going into his draft year, so he can focus just on football and on the CFL and what he needs to do to get there. I think, with the extra couple of months of off-season time to work strictly on football, he’ll be able to excel.
“I think he has a very good possibility of being a high draft pick – not just a draft pick – in the CFL … I think he can play in the CFL, for sure.”