Jordan Herdman will be running against more than just the clock at the CFL combine.
Pushing the Simon Fraser linebacker will be none other than his twin brother, Justin, who also played linebacker with the Clan. The Winnipeg natives will be among over 50 players looking to impress CFL coaches and GMs in testing slated for Friday and Saturday in Regina.
“We’re very competitive so we know we’re going to compete against each other and try to beat each other in everything we do,” Jordan Herdman said. “There definitely will be a little competitiveness between us.”
Combine participants will undergo medical examinations, run various individual drills as well as the 40-yard dash and compete in the 225-pound bench press. There will also be one-on-one competitions as well as interviews with officials representing the nine CFL teams.
With seven of the top-20 draft prospects listed by the CFL scouting bureau not participating, the combine will present many players with a solid chance to impress. Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Senior and Laval tight end Antony Auclair, ranked first and second, respectively, won’t be in attendance as Auclair held his pro day last week and Senior participated in the Bulldogs’ session Wednesday.
Geoff Gray, an offensive lineman at Manitoba, is the fifth-ranked CFL draft prospect but isn’t in Regina as he’s scheduled to hold his pro day next week. Kwaku Boateng, a defensive lineman from Wilfrid Laurier, will be the top-ranked prospect in Regina at No. 6.
The combine is also important to the Herdman brothers.
Jordan, who participated in the Senior Bowl and has garnered NFL interest, is looking to improve upon the test results he posted at Simon Fraser’s pro day March 14. While the five-foot-11, 234-pound linebacker had solid efforts in the bench press (23 reps) and broad jump (nine feet four inches), he hopes to improve upon his 40-yard dash (4.97 seconds according to a scout there) and vertical jump (28 1/2 inches).
“Actually, I’m hoping to crush all the numbers I had previously at the pro day and show the scouts I can perform all the drills,” he said.
Following his pro day, Herdman revealed he was battling a hip ailment. But he’s good to go for the CFL combine.
“I’ve had a week now to recover,” he said. “The body is feeling really good right now.”
Justin Herdman, who didn’t make the CFL’s top-20 list, also participated in Simon Fraser’s pro day and a good showing at the combine would certainly enhance his pro prospects.
The five-foot-11, 229-pound Herdman recorded a 40-yard dash time of 5.09 seconds in his pro day as well as 20 reps in the bench press, a 28 1/2-inch vertical leap and broad jump of eight feet 10 inches.
The Herdmans come by their football prowess honestly. Their father, James Reed, played linebacker for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles (1977), four CFL teams (Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Toronto from 1979-85) as well as the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers and Washington Federals (1984-85).
Jordan 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.
Justin Herdman finished second to his brother in tackles last year with 73 while adding nine tackles for a loss. He also had two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Jordan Herdman wasn’t originally planning on attending the CFL combine but had a change of heart following his pro day. He’s looking forward to having another opportunity to audition before pro scouts.
“I think it’s all part of the process,” he said. “I’m getting excited about it.”
Herdman is also looking forward to competing with and alongside his brother.
“It means a lot,” he said. “We played together our whole careers.
“We’re pretty much a team on and off the field so it’s just a blessing and I’m very grateful to be able to do this with him as well.”
However, chances are if the two do embark on a pro career, it won’t be with the same team.
“I think it will be a little difficult because we haven’t been away from each other for very long,” Jordan Herdman said. “But at the same time, though, I think we’ll be able to handle it.”
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press