EDMONTON – Thomas Miles could barely hold the excitement from his face moments after he found out he performed well enough at Monday’s Edmonton Regional Combine to earn a spot in the national CFL Combine next weekend.
“It’s surreal to be honest,” he said with a smile. “It’s something you hope for but you can’t get your hopes up too high but this is pretty much a dream coming true.”
Miles was one of five players chosen to join the main Combine along with WR Tore Corrado, DL Michael Dadzie, OL Kyle Paterson and DL Dylan Roper.
Miles, a linebacker from the University of Manitoba and a native of Winnipeg, MB, had the fastest shuttle time among linebackers with 4.40 on his first attempt.
Corrado, a wide receiver from Vancouver, BC who attended Simon Fraser University, ran the fastest 40-yard dash for eligible draft prospects at the Edmonton Regional Combine with a 4.75 time (electronic).
Monday marked the second consecutive year that Edmonton graciously played host to a Regional Combine, a role that Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey is more than happy to play.
“All in all it was exceptional – we were really proud of the work that we did here and we want to work in conjunction with the League to have an efficient workout and we did that,” Hervey told CFL.ca.
“We got the work in that we needed to and saw the talent that we needed to see. A few young men got an invite to Toronto.”
Last season, the CFL hosted their first ever regionals in Edmonton and Quebec city. Both were deemed so successful that the League opted to add a third one in Toronto ahead of the national Combine next weekend. For GMs, coaches and scouts, the regionals not only expand the amount of talent exposed but allow those who make decisions come Draft Day to stockpile knowledge of prospects in the event that they want to sign players that don’t necessarily get drafted.
“We had a chance to see the players outside of the film,” Hervey continued. “Talk to them, see them move, see their athleticism and more importantly, see them compete against one another.”
For the players that were able to earn an invite to Toronto, the work is just beginning. A more expansive set of interviews, tests and drills await them at the National Combine. Many of the participants agree that recovery is just as important if not more important than fine-tuning technique heading into the weekend.
“A whole lot of active recovery,” Miles said when asked what he will do in the days leading into the Toronto Combine. “This was a pretty taxing day physically – my legs need a couple of ice baths and some Advil.”
Paterson, an offensive lineman out of Regina, agreed with his fellow invitee, “Probably some light training. You can’t go to heavy or sore before (the weekend).”
The Regional Combine circuit hits Montreal on Wednesday and Toronto on Thursday before the main showcase next weekend.