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By Ted Michaels, CFL Editor - Archive - Email
The ultimate job interview
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Usually, when you go for a job interview, you talk to one person.

Then, if it gets to the next round, you may be interviewed by two or sometimes three people.

How about sitting down to a job interview and facing at least six people and, maybe, having the whole thing videotaped?

That's what 59 prospects for the 2012 CFL Draft faced last weekend in Toronto.

In addition to the usual football-related drills, the players had some face time with representatives from the eight CFL teams.

Those sessions can best be described as nerve-wracking.

Miles Gorrell wouldn't have it any other way.

Gorrell had a 19-year CFL career, playing in 321 games from 1978 to 1996.

He won one Grey Cup with Hamilton and played in two more with Winnipeg. He was a five-time CFL Eastern Division All-Star and a two-time CFL Outstanding Lineman finalist.

The former Coordinator of Canadian Scouting for the Toronto Argonauts currently is the color commentator for the broadcasts of the Vanier Cup champion McMaster Marauders on AM900 CHML in Hamilton.

In other words, he has loads of experience and can't be fooled easily.

This was the eighth consecutive e-camp attended by Gorrell, and he spent the weekend assisting CFL personnel as they put the players through their paces.

He said asking the players a variety of questions is done for a reason.

"There's no right or wrong answer to most of these questions, it's how you answer it," he explained. "It's about finding out how a young man reacts to pressure - fish bowl pressure. At least six coaches looking at you with a camera in your face. There's all kinds of strange questions, like, 'What would you rather be, a cat or a dog?' It's how you react to the situation and how you react to the question. This way, teams can understand, when the games on the line, and you have to put in your rookie, is he going to panic, or is he going to go out there, knowing his assignment and doing what he's supposed to do?"

Gorrell adds a lot of stock is placed in the way an answer is given.

"If a kid is very guarded and almost stand-offish, it can really alter your thinking of him, because you're wondering why," Gorrell said. "You want passion, someone that will give the answer with his whole heart, and truthfully. You want to look into eyes and say, ?Hey, we like this kid.'"

The top prospect heading into the draft on May 3 is University of Saskatchewan offensive lineman Ben Heenan.

He injured his left hip flexor early in drills on Sunday and therefore didn't take part in any one-on-one drills.

"I wanted to show teams here I am a complete athlete," said the 6-foot-4, 310- pounder from Grand Coulee, Saskatchewan.

"And to miss something like that, especially the last event of the weekend, that is the last thing I am going home with in my mind, and that is probably the last thing scouts are going home with in their mind."

According to Gorrell, it won't hurt his chances of being the first draft pick.

"Most of us that have seen him and have graded him, know what he can do," Gorrell said. "You know your own body, and you don't want to make a little tweak worse. Nobody told him not to do it."

Heenan, who played in the 2012 East-West Shrine Game, impressed observers with his performance in the bench press, benching 225 pounds 32 times, good enough for second place overall. Western University defensive lineman Michael Van Praet had 38 reps.

Shamawd Chambers of Laurier, who was ranked number four heading into the weekend, had the best time in the 40-yard dash with a 4.42-second clocking.

Four Canadian-born players, who are playing in the NCAA, chose not to attend the camp in Toronto: No. 2-ranked Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford; University of Virginia offensive lineman Austin Pasztor, who was ranked third; defensive end Ameet Pall from Wofford, who was ranked number seventh and was the co-runner-up for the 2010 Buck Buchanan Award in the FCS; and the 12th- ranked player, Georgia Tech defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi.

All four could be attending NFL camps this fall.


* Gorrell said receiver Johnny Aprile, of Queen's University, is one player who could be a possible "sleeper".

Aprile is a 6-2, 208-pounder, who, according to Gorrell, is a lot like a couple of current Saskatchewan Roughriders, Rob Bagg and Chris Getzlaf.

"I see a guy who is well-muscled, has soft hands and is smart," Gorrell said. "He can go out there and give you reps at any position, including fullback. He's big enough and he's fast enough. He ran a 4.6 40 and did 14 reps (bench press of 225 pounds). He's a lot tougher than people realize."

* Saskatchewan will have the first overall pick in the draft.

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