Atlee Simon’s biggest critic might just be himself but this week, the CFL scouts will get their chance to evaluate the University of Regina’s all-time leading rusher.
The Thom Collegiate product is taking part in the CFL National Combine in Winnipeg for the first time.
Simon said he’s been working hard his entire football career for a chance to show off his skills to the CFL brass.
“I’ve always had high expectations to myself, not to say I expected myself to be here but I definitely pushed myself throughout my career to put myself in the position to get the opportunity to be here,” Simon said.
Along with being the U of R’s leading rusher, Simon is also the school’s all-time leader in Rushing touchdowns with 20 and all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 29.
He’s 842 rushing yards away from breaking into the Canada-West all-time top 5.
“I’m excited, a lot of work has gone in over the past few months just to get to this point so just to be here and be around the guys and the coaches and everything that’s going on throughout this weekend is pretty cool, it’s really humbling and I’m just happy to be here.”
Despite it being his first trip to the combine, he’s been able to pick the brains of a few players who have been there before, such as Mitch Picton and Tevaughn Campbell.
“Those type of guys who’ve gone through it has been really helpful just to get my mind around what to anticipate and it’s been very helpful.”
Someone Simon shares the field with right now also has some CFL combine experience. Current U of R quarterback Noah Picton is participating in his second combine this weekend as well.
Simon said he’s looking forward to showing that he can be a receiver out of the backfield while being a reliable running back. He also said his strengths as a runner is that he always falls forward during contact and good vision as a back.
But he admits he needs to learn to put plays behind them if they don’t go as planned.
“I have just a high expectation of myself … That’s something I’m going to have to work on going forward.”
While he’s a fan of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, he’s only taken a few things from watching him.
“I’ve just been trying to become my own back, I don’t like to look at a whole lot of different guys to emulate but just to be my own person and my own athlete and go from there.”
The combine runs until Sunday.