Four from Ontario Regional selected to advance to National
TORONTO — Four prospects punched their ticket to the CFL National Combine presented by New Era after impressing scouts and general managers at the Ontario Regional Combine in Toronto.
Guelph’s offensive lineman Jaylan Guthrie, York linebacker Jacob Janke, Western defensive back Hakeem Johnson and Concordia defensive lineman Michael Sanelli were selected to move on to the weekend’s main event.
The Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport and Varsity Stadium in Toronto played host to the event as hopefuls put their best foot forward eyeing an invite to the national combine.
» Full Results: Ontario Regional Combine
» Combine Leaderboard: Top 5 from each drill at the Ontario Regional
» CFL Combine Schedule
Guthrie had a successful day, earning his way to the National Combine with a strong showing in the one-on-one drills. The Guelph offensive lineman also finished atop the chart in the bench press, completing 29 reps of 225 lbs.
“I’m just excited to go to the next stage,” Guthrie said. “To get to do one-on-ones against the national guys. There’s a bunch of really good guys that are coming out here. I just want to show what I can do to all of the scouts.”
Defensive lineman Sanelli punched his ticket with a trio of positional victories. The Concordia product finished first among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (4.93 seconds), three-cone drill (7.6 seconds) and the shuttle drill (4.47 seconds).
York Lion Janke moved on with high scores across the board. He had the first overall vertical jump (38 inches), tied for first in the shuttle with a time of 4.28 seconds, placed second overall in the broad jump with a leap of 10’7.00”, was the top linebacker (sixth overall) in the 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds and the top linebacker (again sixth overall) in the three-cone drill with a time of 7.1 seconds.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Janke said when asked about his results from the day. “I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. Every time I come out here I want to get better day by day. I’m never satisfied, always working.”
Also making his way to the National Combine is Western University’s Johnson, who finished third overall in the three-cone drill with a time of 7.03 seconds and was second among defensive backs – and eighth overall – in the broad jump (9’10.50”) and third among defensive backs (seventh overall) in the 40-yard dash at 4.69 seconds. Johnson’s brother, BC Lions receiver Shaq Johnson, was also in attendance cheering on his sibling.
“My brother’s been in my corner my whole life,” Hakeem said of his brother Shaq after the combine had concluded. “He’s been helping me since day one since I started playing football. It was good (to have him there). It was a little comfort and that I knew what to expect too, so it was good.”
Last year six of the seven players that were selected from the Ontario Regional Combine to participate in the National Combine were drafted (Eric Mezzalira drafted second round to Calgary, Jordan Beaulieu drafted third round to Edmonton, Paul Kozachuk drafted sixth round to Montreal, Harry McMaster drafted seventh round to Edmonton, Jacob Firlotte drafted seventh round to Winnipeg).
The national showcase will take place March 22-24, as prospects look to impress the scouts before the 2019 CFL Draft on May 2.