WINNIPEG – CFL hopefuls will get to strut their stuff later this week at the CFL Combine. It’s a gruelling three days of not only physical testing but mental as well for the top draft eligible players.
Ranked sixth by the CFL scouting bureau, Winnipeg’s Evan Gill will be looking to make a name for himself and leave a lasting impression.
“I spent my whole life really on the field,” said the Manitoba Bisons defensive lineman.
That lifetime of playing football will come down to one weekend.
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“I feel pretty confident about everything going into Toronto,” said Gill. “I’ve been down training in Florida the past couple months. It all went pretty well. I mean it was a good experience and I feel pretty good going in. I feel healthy.”
Most of the drills at the combine involve strength and speed but the testing takes place on the field, in the weight room and even in the classroom with prospective players not only testing their muscles but also their minds with extensive interviews and even an intelligence test.
“You’re sitting there filling out a bubble sheet,” said Gill. “It seems to never end. So it gets to your head after a while, but I’m really looking forward to the whole experience.”
To prepare for the combine Gill has put on more than 20 pounds and now tips the scales at over 300 pounds.
Current Blue Bombers offensive lineman Chris Greaves went through the rigours of testing back in his draft year in 2010 and he told the Morning News on Monday that it takes months to prepare.
“You train for three months,” said Greaves. “You have to learn how to run like an Olympic sprinter, which is kinda awkward when you’re anywhere between 200 and 300 pounds.”
But nothing can prepare them for one segment of the combine where the players are paraded out one by one in their skivvies like it’s some sort of beauty pageant.
“It’s never a comfortable feeling, walking out there in nothing but skin-tight shorts and no shirt and walk out in front of a room full of a hundred men,” said Gill.
The three-day CFL Combine begins Friday with Gill’s Bisons teammates Anthony Coombs and Thomas Miles also expected to be in attendance.