NFL Draft-Eligible Seniors Shine at 5th Annual College Gridiron Showcase
Over 260 players from schools of all sizes performed in front of over 145 scouts and executives from NFL, CFL, AAF, IFL, and AFL clubs
For Immediate Release
Fort Worth, January 10, 2019 – Yesterday concluded the 2019 College Gridiron Showcase and Symposium, a 5-day scout and agent-developed combine program that allows professional teams the opportunity to evaluate and speak with next-level talent firsthand.
As in previous years, the 2019 CGS took place in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Given this year’s growth, for the first time, CGS was held in Ft. Worth. Practices were held at McNair Stadium, and scout meetings and professional development programs held at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. Running from January 5-9, over 260 players were broken in to 4 divisions: Wranglers and Desperados – larger schools and higher-graded prospects that practiced both independently and against one another; Marshalls – which made up the first-ever CGS Small School Showcase; and Regulators – specialists including kickers, punters, and long snappers. Over the course of the event, over 145 registered team representatives evaluated players on the field on off.
“Our event was developed specifically with teams’, agents’ and players’ needs in mind. We eliminated the unnecessary aspects common in most post-season all-star showcases, and focused, rather, on the detailed evaluation elements more similar to the NFL Combine,” said Jose Jefferson, CGS Executive Director. “Because of this, we don’t have to worry about building a balanced roster for a by-and-large meaningless game, and we can put together one of the strongest and most diverse group of players of any event out there.”
CGS advisory board member Rodd Newhouse, a wealth management professional at 44 Management and former Arizona Cardinals personnel professional, stressed that at CGS (as opposed to other events), “Scouts have influence and say so over what they want to see. This benefits the players in that it puts them in the right positions to showcase relevant skillsets.”
Among those making up that diverse group were CGS Offensive and Defensive MVPs, running back AJ Ouellette (5’10, 210) from Ohio University and defensive end Kevin Thompson (6’4”, 250) from Bethune-Cookman. Other standouts from throughout the week included Virginia OT Marcus Applefield (6’6”, 315), Kennesaw State WR Justin Sumpter (6’3”, 217), Nicholls State and star of Last Chance U (Netflix) DT Ronald Ollie (6’2”, 310), Eastern Michigan QB Tyler Wiegers (6’3”, 227), and Wyoming TE Austin Fort (6’4”, 245).
Applefield said, “CGS gave me the opportunity to show scouts that I love football, to learn more about the process, and to show that I can compete at the next level.
Nine players from the Small School Symposium performed well enough to be invited to compete against the larger divisions, including Kendrick Murphy (6’0”, 170) from Arizona Christian.
Said Murphy, “To be able to showcase my ability in front of and have the opportunity to converse with various scouts was a blessing beyond measure. This experience was something like a movie. I wasn’t just able to go against athletes from small schools, I was given a chance to compete against athletes from D1 schools, and answer the question, ‘can small school athletes compete against big school guys?’”
“I would tell anyone who has aspirations of playing at the next level that CGS is the place to be. It was an honor.”
At CGS, players receive not just professional coaching, but mentoring, life coaching, and seminars that will benefit them as they move forward in their professional lives in or out of football.
Ouellette said of his time at CGS, “Sun up to sun down everything had something to do with football. Everyone there really wanted to help and see the athletes do well. It was overall a great experience and I learned a lot.”