RB's motivation simple

Former McMaster star running back Jesse Lumsden, left, shares a laugh with workout partner Manny...

Former McMaster star running back Jesse Lumsden, left, shares a laugh with workout partner Manny Furtado at the end of the Forest City Football Camp at Catholic Central last week. (London Free Press/Morris Lamont)

JIM KERNAGHAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Let it be clear: The big Canadian kid is going to Seattle in two weeks to try to make the NFL Seahawks for one person.

Jesse Lumsden is not going for his ex-CFL star father Neil.

He's not going for his old McMaster Marauders teammates. He's not going as a representative of Canadian university sports, his hometown of Burlington, or for Canada.

He's going for himself.

"I don't feel I'm representing Canada," Lumsden said at the Forest City Football Camp, where he was a guest instructor last week. "I want to do my country proud but I've always felt I'm representing myself and that my focus is to make the team, nothing else."

Coaches and supporters of the Western Mustangs are happy they don't have to see him again, this big, fast and supremely canny running back. Nobody in recent Western football history did as much to sting them so hard.

En route to winning top university gridder in the nation last fall, Lumsden victimized the Mustangs as readily as anyone in mounting national records for career touchdowns (47), season touchdowns (21) and season rushing yards (1,816).

In fact, over the years, nobody ripped into Western with a more decisive impact. Lumsden led the worst spanking endured by Western in 43 years two seasons ago at Mac's Homecoming.

He ran for 288 yards and five touchdowns during the 64-35 pounding. It isn't just his speed and power, it's his ability to size up his blockers' progress beyond the first block and instantly follow a shifting route that will take him farthest.

"It seems I did well in the bigger games and Western was always a big game," he said. "The game I remember most was in my second year. We were up 21-0 and they came back and we won (38-37) on the last play of the game. It was a terrific football game."

Lumsden's speed and his power are what led Seattle to bring the undrafted Canadian in but it will be that seemingly innate ability to stretch each play to its best possible conclusion that can put him a notch or two above others.

There's no question about his pace. The six-foot-2 1/2 , 226-pounder was grabbed by the Seahawks after passing the No. 1 litmus test of pro ball, his time over 40 yards. His was between 4.45 and 4.50 seconds. The top-ranked rookie running back at the NFL's combine, Auburn's Robbie Brown, was timed in 4.44.

Lumsden, 22, has given himself every chance of making it by becoming bigger yet leaner and got through the first cut while working at tailback and returning kicks. He's been preparing under a personal trainer in Arizona, former Canadian bobsledder Ian Danney.

It has increased his speed and power for the next test. The gloves come off, so to speak, when the pads go on when rookies report July 26.

"That's for three weeks," Lumsden said. "Then we go to Kirkland (Wash.) for a week and a half and an intrasquad scrimmage. Then it's on to New Orleans for a preseason game."

Lumsden is told of an old Fats Domino hit, Walkin' to New Orleans, and says yes, he'd walk if he had to.

A word Lumsden uses to describe his first pro experience is "intense." Several former Mustangs know all about it. Jamie Bone, John Priestner, Steve Samways, Tim Tindale and Tyrone Williams all went through it with various NFL teams, Tindale making it with Buffalo Bills and Williams with the Dallas Cowboys.

You get the feeling Lumsden's bountiful athleticism will propel him onto the Seattle roster in some role. At the same time, it would be interesting to see him on the larger CFL field.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' draft pick is almost the archetypical CFL slotback.


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