Day one of the College Gridiron Showcase is underway, in Bedford, Texas. College prospects from all over the United States, and even Canada as well have gathered together to meet with NFL scouts, mentors and guest speakers. The Showcase will offer players a chance to meet with the scouts, display their talents with team and individual practices, and top it all off, the youngsters will get a few key seminars on what it’s like to transition into professional sports, social media use, financial security, and more. [Blake]
The day began early for the players. Check-in to the event started at 10 am, but many of the players were on flights for several hours in the night, to reach the hotel in time. As the players began making their way to the registration area, I was able to talk to several of the future NFL rookies. My first interview of the event was with one phenomenal player. Dane Evans (QB-Tulsa) caught my eye almost as soon as he walked in. This strong-armed quarterback had 32 touchdowns and over 3,300 passing yards this past season. The year before, he was ranked eighth overall in the FBS in passing yardage.
Dane Evans is definitely worth keeping an eye on this week, and the entire time leading up to the NFL draft. While he may not be rated as a high draft pick, several scouts were intrigued by the Oklahoma-born leader. He will have a chance this week to show off his capabilities, and truly improve his draft stock.
After players registered with the CGS staff, they were able to relax a little bit, and casually talk to each other about their trips, their seasons, and even a little friendly smack talk on who was the best at their respective positions. As I made my way around the hotel lobby and cafeteria area, the players were getting comfortable, ready to undertake today’s events. I was able to interview two other outstanding players, both from Arkansas. Jared Collins (CB) and Drew Morgan (WR) were Razorback teammates, and are both looking forward to the CGS week.
Collins led the Arkansas defense in pass break-ups in 2016, his second year in a row to lead in this stat. An even more impressive figure, he had at least two tackles in 31 of 37 career games. He is one of the college defensive backs that truly has an eye for where the ball is on the field.
Once I finished up with Jared Collins, I made my way to Pro Football Focus All-SEC wide receiver Drew Morgan. Drew is an outstanding young man and a solid football player. I tried to figure out who was better in the matchup at Arkansas, Collins or Morgan? Drew had a great response to this question and the others.
All in all, the first day of the College Gridiron Showcase has been a success. More players continue to gather together, socialize with each other, and get prepared to display their skills. They call come with the same hopes of getting into the NFL. An event like this is one of the best ways they can help their dream come true.
Be sure to stay tuned for more information on the CGS event, as the week progresses! You can catch these interviews live by heading to my Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/cole.blake.a