With the conclusion of the football season and National Signing Day quickly approaching, the football off-season is upon us. However, as is often screen-printed on high school workout shirts around the country, "there is no off-season" - especially for aspiring college athletes. In fact, the spring and summer months are some of the most crucial to high school football prospects in their attempt to get noticed by college coaches.
As colleges begin to turn their focus to the class of 2011, the camp season takes center stage and with that, so do the skill players. Quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs and running backs get numerous opportunities from January to July to run 40-yard dashes, compete in 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s and other skill-oriented activities.
One such event that offers tremendous exposure to skill players around the country are the BadgerSports Elite 7-on-7. These 7-on-7 events put on by New Level Athletics pit the best skill players from around the country against each other in pass-game settings. The event - only two years young - has already become the premier passing event of the offseason. New Level Athletics co-owner Kashann Simmons touched on the success of the event.
"It's a staple event," Simmons said. "The exposure that kids get from the seven-on-seven is second to none. A perfect example is Merrill Noel from Pahokee was an unknown and went to that event and within a day had offers from Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State and ended up committing to Florida State."
The event isn't just a place for sleepers to be discovered. The nation's big-name prospects take part as well. The rosters of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, The Offense-Defense All-American Game and the Under Armour All-American Game all were stacked with alumni of the 7-on-7 event. In fact, 97 percent of the skill players in those three games combined took part in the event.
Now the same group that has put together this skill player showcase is giving the linemen an opportunity to shine with the BadgerSports Elite Lineman Challenge.
"We've seen that the 7-on-7 has grown exponentially over the last couple of years as the biggest skill position camp there is but that leaves an entire area of the football field that isn't getting evaluated so that was sort of the mindset in starting this camp."
The invite-only camp which will be held Feb. 6-7 at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., is a unique setting catered strictly towards the big men and only the best big men in the country will be in attendance.
Instead of running a 40-yard dash, players will be tested in a 10-yard dash. Instead of running a shuttle, players will be tested in a reaction-based shuttle, simulating a pull. There will be numerous one-on-one reps, a strong-man competition and sled work. There will also be advanced technological equipment that prospects will be taking part in. a computerized sled called the Ratt Machine that can measures the explosiveness of a player's get-off.
The list of attendees at this elite inaugural event is already featuring some big names. The tentative list features players from around the country including Cleveland, Texas defensive end Cedric Reed who may have some opportunities to go up against Hyattsville (Md.) Dematha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. The diverse list of names extends down to Florida with Fort Pierce, Fla., defensive end Giorgio Newberry and all the way over to South Dakota in offensive tackle Derek Farniok.
As is the case with all the major events around the country, Rivals.com will be in attendance with reports from both days of the camp, evaluations and prospect updates, highlighting all of the top performers.
For any inquiries about the BadgerSports Elite Lineman Challenge, or if you feel like you or one of your players is qualified to attend, please contact Kashann Simmons ASAP at 908-548-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.