SFU Pro Day: Herdmans, Litre one step closer to the pro’s

Burnaby, BC – Three former SFU Clan football players took another step on their paths to the big leagues last Friday, as scouts from both the CFL and NFL descended on ‘The Windsor Bubble’ in North Vancouver to watch linebackers Jordan Herdman and Justin Herdman, as well as running back Ante Milanovic-Litre, go through athletic testing and position drills as part of their Pro Day.

Scouts from the CFL’s BC Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Calgary Stampeders, and Montreal Alouettes, as well as reps from the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals, were all on hand to evaluate the Clan trio.

“It’s a good experience, a good chance for us to show what we can do,” said Jordan Herdman of the event. “Personally, I thought I could have done better but I put everything I had out there, so I have no regrets.”

Jordan, standing 5-11 and 234-lbs, ran a 5.03s 40-yard dash, a 4.67s pro agility drill, a 7.69s three-cone shuttle, a 12.55 60-yard shuttle, and posted 23 reps on the bench, while putting up a 28.5-inch vertical jump and 9-4 on the broad jump. Meanwhile, Justin posted a 5.09s 40-yard dash, a 4.77 pro agility drill, a 7.63 three-cone drill, and a 12.37 sixty-yard shuttle, all at 5-11, 229-lbs. Justin added 20 reps on the bench, a 28.5 vertical leap, and an 8-10 broad jump.

The pro day’s format does an inherent disservice to players such as the Herdmans, who rely more on instincts and smart decision-making that pure physical ability.

 “The testing can’t be the only thing you look at with these guys,” said Geroy Simon, Director of Canadian Scouting and Player Personnel Assistant for the BC Lions. “They’re not great testers, but when you see them on the field, they look fast, they play fast, and they play physical.”

 SFU head coach Kelly Bates, who has seen the linebacking duo dominate the opposition for the past two seasons, also pointed to the Herdmans’ game film as a counter argument.

 “When you put them on the field in the middle of a game, their speed changes, their anticipation, their instincts take over, and that’s what makes them ball players,” said the coach. “It’s nice to have these testing numbers, it’s nice to have these events, but at the end of the day, the film doesn’t lie, and I think you still have to understand that.”

 The duo looked smooth in the positional drills, showing quick feet and the ability to change directions quickly in space. The Herdmans did both linebacker and defensive back drills, demonstrating their ability to cover different areas of the field.

 Litre, at 5-11, 220-lbs, might have had the most impressive day of the three in terms of the physical testing. The bruising back ran a 4.63 40-yard dash to go along with a 10-2 broad jump and 36.5-inch vertical. Both his jump numbers would have put the back around the average at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. Litre also notched a 7.31s mark on the three-cone drill while posting 23 reps on the bench press.

 Already aware of Litre’s ability between the tackles, Simon was caught off-guard by the big back’s speed and hands out of the backfield.

 “I think he ran a little better than he did at the Regional,” assessed the former CFL slotback. “He caught the ball well – you can see his natural skills as a running back. I’m not sure if he’ll be a running back in our league, but he’ll have an opportunity, I think, in this league.”

Next up in the draft season is the CFL West Regional Combine, set for March 23, 2017. The National CFL Combine will run from March 23-25, 2017. Meanwhile, the NFL Draft is set to run from April 27-29, 2017, and the CFL Draft will follow on May 7, 2017.

Source: SFU Football, Aaron Martin (Sports Information Assistant)

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