To fully understand the landscape of the these pre-season combines that have now become an event that you just need to be invited to, there are others - away from the spotlight of the sports apparel brands - that probably serve more of an all-around purpose.
If you are not an elite player who doesn't already have 4 or 5 stars next to your name, these higher profile events may not be the only avenue for exposure. The trip to Oregon is nice - and a chance to play in the Under Armour Game is really great, but when you break things down, events like the Elite Scouting Services combine, held recently at Cardinal Gibbons, may have really unlocked what the greater importance is.
"There is not one player who attends any of the events we have hosted for the past 10 years that we haven't promoted and gotten directly to colleges across the country," said Charles Fishbein, Founder and President of Elite Scouting Services. "When athletes leave one of our events, we want them to be upbeat. They realize that we are here to help and play only on the positives."
Fishbein learned the inner-workings of the camp and combine business while hosting a number of events while with MSL Sports. It was there he had the chance to visit over 35 key football cities across the country in over a year. He saw what the players, coaches and parents liked best about the event - and built from it.
"I saw that parents wanted to know more about what their kids do," Fishbein explained. "So, we let the parents watch all the action from the field. Nobody lets parents and fans on the field, but we feel that the experience is something that everyone should enjoy and learn."
Perhaps the one that that has blown away anyone who hosts a similar event is ESS sends video, and written evaluations on to colleges - from major schools to junior college and every prep school in between.
While he is headed to Lake Mary (Orlando area) for the next ESS event, and fully expects a large group of prospects, Fishbein, like so many, believe that south Florida is so stacked with athletes, missing out on Florida Keys performers like twins Henry and George Jacobsen would have been a shame.
The Tavernier Coral Shores Class of 2015 running back/defensive back combination have enjoyed success over the past year, but many have not had the chance to see them. Attending exposure events - like ESS - is essential for both if they expect to continue playing at the next level.
“The ESS event was great because we had the chance to get some quality work in,” George said. “It really is worth the sacrifice – on our first day of Spring Break – to attend this exposure combine.”
For underexposed Dillard quarterback Jason Collins. Elite Scouting was the perfect event to thrust himself back into the spotlight. A spotlight that was bright a few months ago - when many were putting him on that Torrance Gibson, Maurice Alexander and Ryan Stanley Class of 2015 level.
“I have worked very hard in the off season with my accuracy,” said Collins, who finished among the top 8 in the Mastrole Elite Passing Academy Challenge back in December. “The only thing I can control is doing the best I can and hope that college coaches see the progress I continue to make.”
While watching prospects such as Jacobsen twins, Collins, and so many others, you have to look at ESS for being the launching pad for Alabama standout receiver Amari Cooper, who attended three years ago.
PROSPECTS TURNING HEADS
There were so many football players that came from as far away as Homestead and the Palm Beaches, but very few tuned the heads that Archbishop McCarthy tight end J.J. Bost did – with a physical display that include 27 reps of 185 and showing that he has very good feet in drills.
“Great event for me to spotlight my strengths,” Bost said. “Great chance to compete against some quality athletes.”
Deerfield Beach heavily recruited standout Jason Strowbridge took part in the event as well.
Here are 25 more football players who turned heads with a great day of football:
Keyion Batten, OL, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, Wade Collier, RB/WR, Homestead, Leon Brown, WR, Miami Northwestern, Steven Carter, FS, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely, Peter Delatour, LB, Miami Christopher Columbus, Bryton Diejuste, DL, Miramar, James Gardner, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Akeem Hutchinson, DE/TE, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, Danzel King, LB, Miramar, Alejandro Levy, DL, Miami Christopher Columbus, Edwin Loveland, QB/WR, Miramar, Jawanza Evans-Morris, RB, Coral Springs Taravella, Rochelin Romain, OL, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely, Korron Rozier, WR, Coconut Creek, Darrell Swanson, DL, Miramar and Demetrius White, WR, Boyd Anderson.
Dicaprio Bootle, DB, Miami Killian, Matthew Croyle, DL, Coconut Creek Monarch, Marcus Garvin, DB, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, Dedric Luton, WR, Homestead, Deon McIntosh, RB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons, Emmitt Rice, LB, Miami Norland and Antwan Shipp, LB, Miramar.
Waynmon Steed, LB, Miami Central.
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. All you have to do is send a You Tube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein at Floridakids1@aol.com.
Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/larryblustein.