The University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team finished 2017 at 2-6 with six straight setbacks to close out the season.
Head Coach Scott Flory's task is to get better in 2018 while building a solid and long-term foundation for success.
Flory and his staff are recruiting in all areas knowing there are also big holes left by graduating and record-setting receiver Mitch Hillis, fellow pass-catcher Chad Braun and defensive lineman Matthew Kozun.
Flory said a multitude of factors go into finding the right players, including years of eligibility, projected integration into the current roster, immediate impact on the field and academics.
He pointed to Hilltops All-Canadian rush end Riley Pickett who will join the Huskies for 2018 as a player who checked off all of the boxes.
"Riley is going to be a huge impact playing for us, he's got a lot of football left in him, he's got five years actually of his eligibility so that was a very appealing factor for us."
The Hilltops will try to win a CJFL record fifth straight Canadian Bowl title in 2018 and Flory said that program is an example of how to build for long-term success.
"(Head Coach) Tom Sargent does a fantastic job, they retain their athletes for a long period of time and to be honest with you what we are trying to do isn't much, if any different, trying to get our athletes in and keep them for the long term," said Flory adding that the veterans who have been groomed within the same locker room are the difference makers on the field.
"Because if you look at championship football teams, that's how the majority of those players are going to be third, fourth and fifth-year guys, that's what I'm and my staff are trying to do for today and tomorrow and for the program moving forward."
Flory said regardless of whether targeted players are coming out high school or junior football, the Huskies will recruit them aggressively.
“At the end of it I know we’re not going to get every player on our board and we try to focus in on guys that are of need to our program.”