Hawks prepare for CFL combine

(Photo by Heather Davidson)
(Photo by Heather Davidson)

Wilfrid Laurier will be sending two players to the annual CFL Combine in Toronto this weekend.

Fourth-year receiver Alex Anthony and fourth-year fullback Isaac Dell will be among the 50 players in attendance trying to boost their stock before the CFL Draft, which takes place on May 6.

“Combine training involves different aspects and different regiments compared to regular off-season training and preparation,” Anthony said. “I always give 100 per cent when it comes to training, however, since I am preparing for the combine, which is a closer date than Laurier’s training camp in August, it is easier to remain motivated to train.”

“Not only was there a strict schedule,” added Dell, “But eating healthy and getting enough sleep were also extremely important. This is why my social life needed an alteration, no consumption of alcohol and partying during the training schedule… it definitely involves a higher level of commitment and sacrifice than usual. The last three months my main priorities have been training and academics.”

The training focuses on improving skills that will be measured at the combine, such as broad jump, vertical jump, the 40-yard dash and the bench press.

For their training, Anthony said the pair has been doing bench reps with more than the required 225 lbs, so that it will feel lighter when benching at the combine.

Typically, great results for these drills include benching over 25 reps, a broad jump of over ten feet, and a 40-yard dash time of around 4.5 seconds.

Through this preparation period, Anthony and Dell have not only had support of coaches, family and friends, but have also been getting advice about what to expect from former Golden Hawks receiver Shamawd Chambers.

Chambers dazzled scouts at last year’s combine en route to being drafted sixth overall. He also recorded an impressive 40-yard dash time at 4.42 seconds, which led all participants. It was also the fourth fastest time ever recorded at the camp.

“He has told me to be confident,” said Dell. “Truthful during the interview process, not to make excuses, pay attention to fine details during the contact drills and one-on-ones and to not be discouraged if a test doesn’t go as well as I had hoped. He has been someone I can message at any point if I have questions or concerns and I am thankful for his help.”

Heading into the combine, Stephen Alli from the University of Florida is the top-ranked receiver, while Stephen Lumbala from University of Calgary is the top-ranked running back.

The duo have no preference on where or what team they may be drafted to, simply agreeing they would relish the opportunity to play professional football. However, if it doesn’t work out this off-season, both will be back next year to play out their final year of eligibility at Laurier.

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