Long snapping took Hus to Roughriders

Written by Darren Steinke, Gordie Howe Sports Complex

February 20, 2020

Jorgen Hus prepares to make a long snap at the Indoor Training Centre. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

Hilltops’ grad encourages others to take up craft

It has been “friends on” for Jorgen Hus with a CFL rival since returning to Saskatoon in the off-season.

The 30-year-old is best known for being the long snapper for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the past six seasons. The graduate of the CJFL’s powerhouse Saskatoon Hilltops trains at Ignite Athletics and perfects his craft on the turf field at the Indoor Training Centre at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.

Often, Hus will take a local player under his wing, when he works on his long snapping skill.

He often crosses paths with offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who also trains at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex in the off-season. Neufeld is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team.

The Bombers knocked off the Roughriders 20-13 in the CFL West final at Mosaic Stadium in Regina last season before advancing on to dump the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the Grey Cup held in Calgary.

While the Bombers became the CFL champs at the expense of the Roughriders, Hus said there has been no back-and-forth teasing or banter about what happened in 2019 with Neufeld.

“Now that it is the off-season, we kind of just move on,” said Hus. “We’re all friends.

“It is such a small league. At the end of it, we were a little bit bitter coming up short and losing to them. Once it is the off-season, you kind of just rooting for everybody.

“You train together and push each other and no problem there.”

The loss in the West final ended a season where the Roughriders finished first in the West Division and had the second best overall record in the league. At the outset of the campaign, few expected the Roughriders to get that far, but Hus said there was still disappointment as everyone on his squad believed they could go all the way.

“Overall, it was a good year for the boys,” said Hus. “We got close, and getting first is always a goal.

“That bye week was nice, but ultimately, we came up short. It was tough. I really felt like the stars were aligning last year for our team, and we were going to win it.

“We got a lot of our team back, and I feel really good about this year and moving forward.”

Before moving on to the professional ranks, Hus was a standout linebacker with the Hilltops and the University of Regina Rams. He was a long snapper with both those teams and took up that position at the urging of Warren Muzika, who was then a Hilltops assistant coach and is now the Huskies defensive coordinator.

Jorgen Hus began long snapping as a member of the CJFL’s Hilltops. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

“He told me first year Hilltops, he said, ‘You can have a long career playing professional football, if you can learn how to long snap,’” said Hus. “It is just something that I practised.

“I just got better and better at it. It has worked out decent so far.”

Hus said the key to being good at the craft is focusing on doing the mechanics correctly each time.

“The toughest part is just keeping your mental game in check,” said Hus. “It is kind of like golf.

“You don’t want to let a bad snap kind of influence the next one. You’re mental game is really important the higher you go. You just work hard at it and perfect it, and it just takes time.”

Hus now finds he encourages younger players to take up long snapping like Muzika once encouraged him.

Before joining the Roughriders, Hus spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks in the NFL from 2013 to 2014.

“You can take this as far as you want to, as long as you want to do it and put in the work,” said Hus, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 230 pounds. “There are all sorts of body shapes out there.

“You don’t have to be 6-foot-5 and run a low 40 time. You can be anyone and take it to the professional level snapping. It just takes a lot of hard work, dedication and all that kind of stuff.

“There is hope out there for everybody, and that is what I kind of like to teach.”

As he prepares to do his part to help the Roughriders try to reach the CFL’s pinnacle, Hus is pumped he gets to train at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.

“This whole facility is just unbelievable,” said Hus. “It is second to none, and I am not so sure there is anything else in Canada, for sure Western Canada.

“It is really like an all-inclusive resort for athletes is really what they have here at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex. It is pretty cool. We’re pretty fortunate to be able to come here and train every day, and we are really spoiled.

“I’m not so sure these young guys know how good they have it. When I was going through it (growing up), we’d grind it out in the fields and did what we had to find a gym and lift. It is pretty cool what they have now.”

Jorgen Hus (#46) in action last season with the Roughriders. (Photo by Darren Steinke)