University of Saskatchewan running back Adam Machart was the shortest player at the CFL’s national combine and used that as a source of motivation heading into the event.
“You’ve always got something to prove because no matter what you can do they kinda have that against you I guess you could say, so there’s a chip on the shoulder. You always want to work harder or lift heavier than anybody else, those kinds of things. It definitely makes you work and grind a little bit more,” said Machart in an interview with 3DownNation.
The five-foot-seven, 189-pound ball carrier was named a U Sports first-team All-Canadian in back-to-back seasons with the Huskies, helping them reach the Vanier Cup in 2021. His best season came in 2019 when he recorded 156 carries for 1,330 yards and eight touchdowns over eight regular season games, though he was passed over for the Hec Crighton Trophy.
Machart showed CFL teams this past weekend that he has elite strength for his size — completing 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which was seventh-best among all combine participants — and is hopeful that pro scouts aren’t worried about his height.
“I don’t think that they’ll hold it against me. I think it’s actually something that’s played into my favour in my game, personally. I have a low centre of gravity and with my vision and my burst I think it works as an asset for me instead of something that they can use as a knock against me, so I think it’s working in my favour,” said Machart.
The Saskatoon native was one of four Huskies at the event alongside offensive lineman Noah Zerr, defensive lineman Riley Pickett, and defensive lineman Nathan Cherry. The teammates were vocally supportive of one another during testing events, particularly during the bench press as they looked to inspire one another to perform their best.
“To have the boys here cheering each other on, it’s pretty special. It’s fun to have some guys here. You train for the events together with those guys for months so then to be here on competition day is fun,” said Machart. “This is something we’ve been working towards for so long, all of us guys.”
Machart interviewed with seven teams at the combine, including Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. He had a good experience answering questions, which he said weren’t as tough as originally expected.
“It’s just about getting to know each other, them getting to know me and me getting to know them. There’s been some ice-breaking questions, things like that, some knowledge-type stuff, character-type stuff, it’s been actually a really fun process getting to sit down and have some conversations.”
The Saskatchewan Roughriders do not have an incumbent starter in the backfield for the upcoming season with William Powell having departed for the Ottawa Redblacks via free agency. Though second-year man Jamal Morrow likely has the inside track to the starting job, Machart could be an enticing option for the Riders on draft day.
“It would be special for sure being in your hometown and your home province’s team,” he said. “But I’d be thrilled to get an opportunity with any of the nine teams that are evaluating us.”