BURNABY — Jordan Herdman was hoping to see his name flash across the screen Saturday during the final four rounds of the NFL draft.
That moment never came, but it wasn’t long before the Simon Fraser Clan’s superstar linebacker was picking up the phone to discover his future.
Herdman, who holds every meaningful tackling record in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history, is set to attend rookie mini-camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“My mom, dad, brother (fellow SFU linebacker Justin) and I all watched the draft today right to very end,” the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Herdman said Saturday evening from his hometown of Winnipeg. “It was disappointing because I thought I was going to get picked up. There were a lot of calls leading up to the draft, so yeah, it was disappointing.
“But soon after, my agent called me and said I was going to Kansas City. It’s exciting, and I feel grateful. It’s nice to see all of the hard work paying off.”
How much interest had the Chiefs shown in Herdman through the draft process?
“They did come up to SFU and watch a game.” said Herdman, “and I was talking to one of their scouts at the Senior Bowl. So there was some past experience, but I didn’t hear too much heading into the draft. I guess they saw what they needed to see.”
Herdman said he was still awaiting further details from the Chiefs regarding the mini camp.
The Chiefs only had six picks in the draft but they did select one linebacker, tabbing Georgian Southern OLB Ukeme Eligwe in the fifth round, 183rd overall.
Herdman had one of the greatest individual careers in the half-century history of Clan football.
Not only did he leave the school as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s all-time tackling leader (428), he also owns GNAC single-season (165) and single-game (26) tackling records.
Herdman, who posted a 3.90 grade point average in biomedical physiology, has also said in the past that when his football days are done, that he would like to study medicine and eventually become a doctor.
“This whole (pre-draft) process has been a great experience for me as I try to make the transition to professional football,” said Herdman, who was hopeful his twin brother Justin would also get an opportunity to showcase his skills in a mini-camp setting. “I am taking it head on. All you can do is just go out there and leave it all on the field.”
Herdman is also one of the top prospects for the CFL draft, slated for May 7.
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