West Jefferson’s Lance Lambert is throwing passes and catching attention.
The Roughriders’ senior quarterback recently had a strong showing at the Blue-Grey Midwest Regional Combine held at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati April 23, earning himself an invite to the Blue-Grey Super Regional in Canton June 17-18.
The two-day Super Regional event features All-American candidates competing against each other under the watchful eye of college coaches. Those selected as All-Americans will serve as a pool to select the squads to compete in one of three Blue-Grey All-American Bowls. These games will be televised on the Impact Football Network and ESPN3 and will be played at AT&T Stadium home of the Dallas Cowboys, EverBank Field home of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Raymond James Stadium home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I thought I performed pretty well,” Lambert said of his initial regional combine experience. “I ran my 40 (4.95 seconds), did the speed stuff and played 7 on 7. That’s where I thought I threw it well and they started to notice me. They started talking to me more and that’s when I knew I would probably be moving on to the Super Regional.”
Roughly 20 quarterbacks competed in the combine in Cincinnati, that number will likely be larger at the Super Regional in Canton. But while he admits he wasn’t the best player on the field, Lambert said at no point in time was he intimidated or felt like he didn’t belong.
“From a confidence standpoint I’m always comfortable with myself and try not to compare myself to anyone else,” Lambert said. “I’m going to focus on doing what I need to do to be successful. Not worry about what everyone else is doing.”
West Jeff varsity football coach Shawn Buescher knows that Lambert’s success at the Regional Combine was a by-product of all the hard work his senior-to-be has put in over the years.
“This is a big for Lance but also big for our football program,” Buescher said. “He’s put himself in this position. Hard-working kids being rewarded for the things they do right. He’s worked hard and good things are happening for him. But truthfully if he didn’t have this opportunity, he’d still be out there working hard every day.”
Lambert is hoping to turn this experience into an opportunity to play college football somewhere. Of last year’s 630 prospects who competed in Blue-Grey Super Regionals 425 ended up signing a college football scholarship in their senior year.
“Blue-Grey has a great reputation with a lot of colleges and universities,” Lambert said. “These combines will hopefully get me noticed and if I can be named an All-American that would be great. I would like to play football at the next level.”
As a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball), Lambert has had to make time to stay sharp throwing the football.
“Mental toughness is the first step for success and Lance has that,” Buescher said. “He has a chance to be successful, but it’s not always about talent. If you can be mentally tough enough to get through the rough times, to continue to work hard then good things will happen.
“This is a great event and we’re proud of him.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.