Cam Lawson gets ready for the show

Scouting combines ahead of CFL draft cancelled due to coronavirus

''Big Cam Lawson'' was named a first-team All-Canadian this year.
Credit: 
Jeff Chan

Gaels defensive lineman Cameron Lawson, one of the most dominant pass rushers in U SPORTS this season, was an invitee to this year’s Canadian Football League (CFL) National Combine.

On the national stage, Lawson is the fifteenth-ranked overall CFL draft prospect and the first-ranked Canadian defensive lineman.

However, yesterday afternoon, the CFL issued a statement addressing the recent COVID-19 pandemic, in which the league announced it was cancelling the upcoming Regional and National combines.

This unfortunately means that the five Gaels who were set to take part in this year’s scouting combines will no longer be able to showcase their talent.

The CFL insists the national draft is still set to take place on April 30.

Lawson put together a storied career at Queen’s, earning honours like OUA Rookie of the Year, and second-team All-Canadian status.

During his final season in the Tricolour, Lawson was named a first-team All-Canadian, as well as OUA Lineman of the Year. In his four years as a Gael, Lawson recorded 74 tackles, 11 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries.

Lawson’s ability to play multiple positions on the defensive line is a trait that CFL scouts will take notice of. He’s also one of the most tenacious pass rushers in the draft. Lawson is undoubtedly one of the most talented interior defensive linemen in this year’s CFL draft class.

Before the unfortunate cancellation of the CFL combine events, The Journal interviewed Lawson about his preparations for a CFL career.

QJ: How did you feel about your season from an individual perspective?

Lawson: Getting injured was a challenge, but I overcame it and felt I played well in the role I was given. Playing nose tackle can sometimes be difficult, especially taking on triple teams. But I was also happy to help other guys get sacks and tackles.

QJ: You’ve had such an accomplished career here at Queen’s, what has it meant for you to play for such a historic program?

L: It’s huge, I’ve been watching Canadian university football for a while. I’ve always been attracted to Queen’s as a football program. I really appreciate what they strive for in education and athletics.

QJ: What are you doing right now to get ready for the National Combine? What does a typical day look like?

L: I designed my last semester around getting ready for the combine, so that I could have time to train and prepare. I do strength and position-specific work for two to three hours in the new Mitchell Hall gym. At the Thousand Islands Dome, I train for the field drills. So a lot of sprint technique and 40-yard dashes.

QJ: How important has recovery been for you through this process?

L: I’m big on a regulated sleep cycle to ensure you’re getting good sleeps, as well as a strict meal plan focusing on nutrition.

QJ: Have you already been studying specific players in the CFL?

L: Yeah, Hamilton’s Ted Laurent, he’s one of the best defensive tackles in the CFL right now. I’ve also been watching former Gael Derek Wiggin.

QJ: Who is one player in U SPORTS whose game you really respect?

L: Chris Merchant, I’ve played him every year. Every year I play him he amazes me even more. He has such great awareness and escapability. He’s such a competitor.

QJ: What has been one of your favourite memories on the field?

L: My first sack, definitely. I ran a twist and got through; it was awesome. I just started running around and screaming. Playing in Homecoming games is always special too.

QJ: How was it playing for a new head coach in Steve Snyder this year?

L: Coach brought a mentality that was much needed. He will hold you accountable for your actions and demands the best out of his players. He’s a great coach and he’s here to win.

QJ: Do you have a favourite part of the combine process?

L: I’m a gym rat. I love getting in the gym and doing strength work!

***

Lawson has been working incredibly hard all off-season in order to be ready for the National Combine, and it’s incredibly unfortunate for him and the other Gaels that they won’t have the chance to compete in the combines.

Despite Lawson not being able to interview at the combine, there’s no doubt that his resume will land him a spot in the CFL.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.