CFL: Evaluation camp; Bishop's Lee; Queen's Allin set marks

The Winnipeg Free Press' Ed Tait, probably the country's finest CFL beat writer (all due to respect to the Regina writers who keep this Roughriders fan informed), did come back with some good stuff from the evaluation camp, including a profile on Manitoba inside receiver Simon Blaczak.
"I grew up on Alfred Avenue and Aikins Street," Blaszczak said. "It's kind of the ghetto of the North End. But I'm proud of where I came from and I wouldn't change that at all. But I know what it's like for underprivileged kids who don't have another option instead of being on the street getting into trouble. I was fortunate enough to steer clear of that every step of the way. If I get a chance, hopefully going to the next level will give me an opportunity to give back to my community.

"If you can reach one kid, if one kid comes up to you and says, 'I've been watching you over the years and you inspire me to play football' then you made a difference. And that's important for me because I consider myself a very loyal person."
Some quick highlights:
  • Bishop's Jamall Lee set camp records with a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and 40-second vertical leap.
  • Queen's defensive back Jim Allin had a time of 3.97 in the shuttle run, becoming the first player to ever come in below 4 seconds. Granted, Allin was the smallest man there at 5-foot-10, 170 lbs., so he was uniquely suited to the shuttle, but still. The Corbyville, Ont. (near Belleville) native took a 10th of a second off the previous best set in 2005 by current Montreal Alouettes DB Mathieu Proulx; Sherbrooke's Samuel Giguère, now with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, had the best at 4.10 in 2008.
  • Five players benched 225 lbs. 23 times: D-linemen Chad Cossette of Windsor Étienne Légaré of Laval Dee Sterling of Queen's, wideout Darcy Brown from Saint Mary's and fullback Peter Quinney from Laurier;
  • Acadia receiver Matt Carter ran the second-fastest 40, 4.50 seconds.
U of T defensive back Matt Morris, the lone Varsity Blue at the camp, was also profiled by the Toronto Star. (Morris is 5-foot-8½ and 187 lbs., so he was the smallest player there if you want to be technical and go by height, not weight.)

(Like Lacey Burrows on Corner Gas, I've cheered for the 'Riders ever since they moved from Ottawa.)

Trying to make the grade at CFL Evaluation Camp 'Ghetto' to gridiron; Blaszczak devoted his life to football, escaped pitfalls of Winnipeg's inner-city (Ed Tait, Winnipeg Free Press)
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