Lumsden hoping it will work out

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

There's interest in two National Football League teams and all nine Canadian Football League teams in seeing Jesse Lumsden work out, but right now it's not working out in his schedule.

The acclaimed McMaster University running back has been maintaining a strict off-season schedule in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is a major reason he won't be in attendance for this weekend's CFL evaluation camp of draft-eligible players. His father, Neil, shot down any speculation he is bypassing the evaluation camp because of concerns it could impact his stock.

"He'll make himself available to any of the CFL teams that want to talk to him. Absolutely," Neil Lumsden said yesterday. "This is not even close to saying, 'No, I'm not interested.' This is just part of his process right now."

Each of the CFL teams puts in a list of players it wants to see, from which a group of the top-40 of almost 700 draft-eligible prospects are invited. Other notable absentees from the evaluation camp are: University of Toledo offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, who is projected to be selected in the April 23-24 NFL draft; University of Alberta linebacker David Lowry; and Columbia University offensive lineman Olivier Manigat.

Lumsden is a projected first-round pick -- and possibly first overall -- in the CFL draft depending on whether or not he's drafted by an NFL team or signed as a free agent. The CFL draft is April 28.

Lumsden had hoped to impress NFL teams at the recent combine of draft-eligible players, but wasn't picked to participate.

Neil Lumsden said his son will be made available for a public workout for NFL or CFL teams some time later this month or early next month. So far he hasn't worked out for any NFL teams, although two of them, which Neil Lumsden wouldn't identify, have expressed an interest. Because of an NFL rule, draft-eligible players are only allowed to work out at the university or college where they played or in the vicinity of where they are from.

"It's trying to be as efficient as possible as he's going through his process," Neil Lumsden said. "And it's too bad that he couldn't participate in the U.S. (for a public workout). What we're trying to do -- and it hasn't been finalized yet -- is set up a day and a location and those that are interested from the NFL can come up and work him out. I don't know how many teams will come out. We'll know once the announcement has been sent out that this is happening and we'll see what the reaction is like. Is it going to be two? Is is going to be one? Is it going to be eight? I don't know. They're all out on the road now doing the pro days in the U.S. It's trying to fit things into a relatively tight schedule for these guys."


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