The College Gridiron Showcase wrapped up the first day with a meet and greet. The future NFL rookies gathered together at the Texas Harley Davidson showroom in Bedford, Texas. Fantastic Texas bar-b-que was served, and the players got to relax and do some socializing with each other. As these youngsters kicked back and toured the amazing motorcycle displays, I got to see them in a more comfortable state.
Prior to this meet and greet, the athletes had an introduction to the CGS event meeting and a seminar on transitioning into professional sports. Honestly, this is the type of information that ALL future NFL players need. All too often, players do not receive proper information on what their lives are going to be like once they officially enter the world of professional sports.[Blake]
I have to commend the CGS staff for ensuring that their event is NOT just a showcase of talent. The organizers have ensured that their showcase is full of meetings and seminars that help prepare these players for life. In addition to putting their skills on display in hopes of influencing scouts to rank them higher on draft sheets, these athletes are walking away with knowledge.
(Drew Morgan/Jared Collins)
In a small snippet of what the orientation and transition meetings were like, I spoke with Drew Morgan and Jared Collins for details. This wide receiver and cornerback (respectively) combo from Arkansas talked a bit about the meetings.
While hanging out with the players, observing their interactions and conversations, I stumbled across Fred Zerblis, an offensive lineman from Colorado State. When you first see Fred, you can’t help but notice his monstrous beard. Of course, when I interviewed him, I couldn’t help but bring up what he thinks that the opposing defenses think of his beard.
Next up at the meet and greet, I found Tyson Graham. This safety from South Dakota was one of six captains for the Coyotes. He and I discussed leadership qualities and what it takes to be the leader at the collegiate level. Overall, my brief talk with Graham was impressive. He seemed like a well-educated football player and seemed like he would bring a tremendous amount of confidence and knowledge to any professional football team. I look forward to following him throughout the event and getting follow-up interviews.
When you see the full roster of players attending the College Gridiron Showcase, you are bound to find a few players who are leaving their college careers on a losing note. This was the case when I found David Rivers, a cornerback from Youngstown State. In the FCS title game, Youngstown State lost to James Madison, 28-14. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Penguins. Rivers was able to keep his head up and look forward towards the career he has in front of him.
The meet and greet concluded, and the players made their way back to the hotel for the night. Tomorrow looks to be yet another beneficial experience for these players, as the CGS will continue their seminars and meetings, built around personal growth, in addition to showcasing skills. I will continue to follow the College Gridiron Showcase event, and continue capturing interviews with these NFL hopefuls.
You can see the interviews live, as they are happening, by heading to my Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/cole.blake.a
Continue checking back here for more updates and follow ups!