466 senior high school football players descended upon Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California on Saturday for the fifth annual National Football Foundation‘s California High School Showcase, hoping for a second-chance to play college football. The Southern California event, which is presented by former UCLA and College Football Hall of Fame Coach Terry Donahue, is free to academically eligible high school players, who did not sign an NCAA Division I letter of intent. The players worked-out for over 70 coaches from NCAA Division II, III and the NAIA programs around America.
Donahue says that over the first four years, more than 500 student-athletes from the SoCal event have gone-on to play college football.
While there’s no word yet on how many student-athletes were offered scholarships from Saturday’s camp, last year organizers said 152 players landed on college rosters across the country with financial aid.
As you can see below, Ryan Casias, Jr., who played at Stellar Prep in northern California, was excited after his workout.
— Ryan Casias Jr (@ryancasiasjr5) February 11, 2017
The California High School Showcase, which had over 100 volunteer coaches helping the players, is the first of four events put-on by the National Football Foundation. The next event is this weekend in Houston, home to the first-ever NFF showcase nine years ago.
2017 NFF High School Showcase Schedule
February 18, 2017 – at Houston Sports Park in Houston, CA – Ninth Annual Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase, founded by Phil Camp, the former head football coach Milby High School in Houston, Coby Rhoden, an academic coordinator at Houston Heights High School, Chris Vaughan, a member of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and Daryl Wade, the former athletics director for the Houston Independent School District.
February 25, 2017 – at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL – Inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, led by the Orange Bowl Committee and its newly installed president, Don Slesnick, immediate past president, Judge Michael B. Chavies, CEO Eric Poms, and NFF Board Member and Orange Bowl past president Bob Epling.
March 4, 2017 – at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC – Inaugural Carolinas Senior Football Showcase, spearheaded by ESPNU college football analyst and former UCLA player Charles Arbuckle, in conjunction with Blazing 7 on 7, a local non-profit organization that runs off-season passing leagues.
You can listen to Phil Camp, founder of the Houston Showcase, talk about how the camps started on last Thursday’s High School Football America Radio Show below.