TORONTO – They had to leap over an extra hurdle to earn an invite, but in the end Kris Robertson, Mike Klassen and Jermaine Gabriel showed everyone in attendance at the CFL Combine presented by Reebok this weekend that scouts and GM’s made no mistake in bringing them to Toronto.
All three prospects found themselves very much on the radars of GMs and scouts at the conclusion of the weekend’s events, with Robertson arguably stealing the show on Sunday with his explosive speed in the 40-yard dash, a run that tied Edmonton Eskimos receiver Shamawd Chambers for the fastest electric time in Combine history, clocking in at 4.423 seconds.
Robertson, who earned an invite to Toronto after dominating at the Quebec City Regional Combine, also claimed top spot in the broad and vertical jumps.
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But despite his impressive showing, Robertson appeared unenthusiastic with his efforts.
“I felt like I could have run a little faster, I’m not the happiest with my time right now,” he told CFL.ca’s Don Landry shortly after completing his 1-on-1s on Sunday.
“I don’t know what it was, I just couldn’t run fast enough today,” he added.
CFL.ca’s Combine Insider Henoc Muamba believes that regardless of what Robertson thinks of his own performance, the scouts will no doubt take positive notice.
“The 40 on its own is just big for opening eyes,” explained Muamba, who ran a 4.50 in the same drill back in his draft year, placing in the top-10. “If you’re not a high-class guy it opens eyes for coaches to see that you’re fast, especially for skilled positions like receivers, DBs and linebackers.”
“And Kris Robertson showed that even though he’s small he plays fast, he plays big and he just proved that this whole weekend.”
One prospect who was impressed with his weekend was Klassen, a six-foot-five, 275-pound defensive lineman who made his way to the Combine after turning heads at the Edmonton Regional Combine.
Klassen tested well on Day 1, registering the third highest bench press total among all defensive lineman with 26 reps, but shined on Day 2 of testing, recording an impressive 4.978 in the 40.
He also showed his strength and speed in the 1-on-1s, powering through offensive lineman with apparent ease. Following his drills, Klassen told CFL.ca that he was pleased his overall performance.
“I think I accomplished what I wanted to, I came out and I gave it my all,” he said.
“Maybe my numbers weren’t where I wanted them to be but I came out and gave 100 per cent and that’s what counts at the end of the day,”
With the testing now over, the only thing that remains for the prospects like Klassen, Gabriel and Robertson is the CFL Draft on May 6.
Klassen, however, isn’t too worried about the coming months, stressing that a period of relaxation might be the best way to avoid any nerves.
“Maybe I’ll rest here a bit for the next week, we’ve been training so hard for three months so it would be nice to sleep in for the next week, maybe go out and have a few beers with some friends,” he said with a smile.