Jordan Herdman isn’t done running against the clock.
The Simon Fraser University linebacker said Monday he didn’t have his best workout at his pro day Friday. He originally didn’t plan on participating in the CFL combine March 23-25 in Regina but told The Canadian Press later Monday night he”d changed his mind.
“I am not satisfied with the numbers at my pro day,” said Herdman. “I want an opportunity to show that I can test well and improve my testing numbers.”
Herdman, his twin brother Justin, also a linebacker, and running back Ante Milanovic-Litre worked out for scouts from the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals as well as four CFL clubs Friday in North Vancouver, B.C. Jordan Herdman had solid efforts in the bench press (23 reps) and broad jump (nine feet four inches) but his 40-yard dash time of 4.97 seconds â€” as recorded by a scout at the workout â€” and 28 1/2-inch vertical jump could both be improved upon.
And Herdman â€” who measures five foot 10 (he’s been listed at six foot) and weighs 234 pounds â€” struggled with his footing on some agility drills.
“It’s definitely a relief to have the pro day over with,” Herdman said during a telephone interview. “I wish I could’ve got some better numbers but, I mean, it is what it is.
“I’ve hit better numbers during training and feel I could’ve definitely posted better times but you only get one attempt and so if you slip or stumble that’s what they go with. I think they (scouts) also have to take into account I play football very well so they have to watch the film and see how I play on the field.”
Herdman was hoping to post a 40-yard dash time in the high 4.6s or low 4.7s but said Monday he’d been battling a hip ailment.
“I felt like my start was how it usually is and my 10-yard time was good,” Herdman said. “But the last 20 (yards) wasn’t the best.
“I feel I can do much better than that, that’s not a good time for me.”
Herdman enjoyed a stellar career at Simon Fraser, registering Great Northwest Athletic Conference records for career (428), single-season (165) and single-game (26) tackles. Twice he was named the GNAC’s top defensive player.
The Winnipeg native was a late addition to the Senior Bowl in January in Mobile, Ala., becoming the first player in school history to earn the honour. Herdman made the most of it, delivering a thunderous hit on Jamaal Williams after the BYU running back took a short pass over the middle in the Jan. 28 game.
“I was expecting a bit better showing,” said Geroy Simon, the most prolific receiver in CFL history who’s now the B.C. Lions’ director of Canadian scouting. “In a pro day you want to show your athletic ability, you want to show your explosiveness, you want to show your speed and acceleration and change of direction.”
And have the player prove he can run at the pro level and put himself in position to make plays, regardless of size. Simon said two prime examples of that are Lions’ linebacker Solomon Elimimian â€” the CFL’s outstanding player in 2014 and twice its top defensive player the last three years â€” and Adam Bighill, who this off-season signed with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
“Solomon Elimimian is pushing five foot 11 while Adam Bighill is about five foot nine,” Simon said. “But the thing those guys have is the ability to run, the ability to be explosive and make plays.
“What we look for are guys who can run. If you can’t run, that’s going to hurt you with our team.”
But Simon also said evaluating talent isn’t an exact science.
“Some scouts don’t care about size,” he said. “If you have the ability to play, if you have the ability to run and do the things you need to do, they’ll take a shot on you.”
Simon added Herdman’s game film shows very well.
“On film you can see his quickness, his explosiveness, you can see his ability to read plays,” Simon said. “He’s a very fit kid, he looks like a football player.
“Big chest, big shoulders, strong hands.”
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press