DEVELOPING THE MAN – BEING AN ATHLETE IS NOT ENOUGH
I feel that we are a trend-setting event…number 1, we don’t host a game. I just feel I didn’t want to play a game that nobody really cared about. – JOSE JEFFERSON
As the College Gridiron Showcase begins it’s the sixth year in 2019 Jose and Craig, as well as all the CGS administrative staff, keep the purpose of the showcase in their minds at all time. The CGS doesn’t simply exist to bolster a reputation of putting guys on rosters, not sufficient enough…but to build strong athletes on and off the field. The CGS is already confident in their ability to provide opportunity and produce draft selections…the second half of their purpose is knowing that a good number of the young men they touch will be on NFL teams come that fall. With the short amount of time they are given with these men, they know their impact must be great, they must be able to maximize every minute with each player I order to produce an impression that will last throughout their playing career, at least this is the hope.
Throughout the 5 days and 4 nights, CGS attendees will be met with a schedule of on and off-field events from sun up to sun down, no minute is wasted, no expense spared. The Players are divided into two groups, each with a daily routine that is set opposite of each other. This structure allows the CGS to utilizes its staff of over 100 to serve players most effectively. Below is a breakdown of the typical CGS Player Schedule;
- 6:00 AM: WAKE
- 6:30 – 7:30: BREAKFAST
- 7:30 – 8:00: PLAYER CHECK-IN
- 8:45 – 9:30: ON-FIELD WARM UPS
- 9:00 – 1:00: INDIVIDUAL GROUP PRACTICE AND SKILL TRAINING (ALL POSITIONS)
- 1:30 – 2:30: LUNCH
- 2:30 – 5:30: 3 SEMINAR SESSIONS – FINANCIAL EDUCATION, BEYOND FOOTBALL, PROFESSIONAL PLAYER SCHEDULING
- 6:00 – 7:00: PRO SCOUT MEASUREMENTS AND ANALYSIS
- 7:00 – 10:00: PRO TEAM SCOUTING INTERVIEWS/DINNER
- 10:00 – 10:15: FREE TIME…
You hear a lot of coaches today talking about function…you can be the strongest guy in the weight room, you can be the fastest guy on the track, but can you transfer those skills to the field in an effective and consistent fashion. – RON SALINSKY
During the entire week, players are being watched at every step of the showcase. Professional Coaches, Scouts, and Agents keep a keen eye on the talent being showcased. This is the primary benefit of the College Gridiron Showcase over other events, true exposure at all levels. You won’t find guys standing around or taking selfies on the sideline. Each moment is scripted to place the player through of maze of new circumstances to see how they react and conduct themselves as a player.
PROFESSIONAL VS. COLLEGIATE – A LINE IN THE SAND
Mental toughness…Your working a whole game, a whole year, a whole season, your wanting to be the best…to be the best you can be you have to work at that craft. – GREG ANDERSON
If we look through the course of history there are a few definitive factors that separate a champion from the rest of the pack. One, Mindset or Mental Toughness as Coach Anderson would say. A mindset that relates to confidence in your ability to succeed, regardless of the obstacles you face present day. An example that screams out is Kurt Warner, who began his career as a walk-on for the Green Bay Packers in 1994, only to be released shortly after and returning to Iowa to sack groceries at the local Hy-Vee chain in Cedar Rapids. However, he would not let this stop his persistence or dream. A few years later he would get his chance to Play for NFL Europe in Amsterdam and the rest is history, there is now a bronze bust of his face sitting in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Through all statistics and logic, the idea that a grown man sacking groceries in Iowa would soon be in the NFL Hall of Fame is inconceivable. However, greatness is not judged by stats alone. Neither should we take this approach when looking at prospective NFL Draftee’s.
ROOKIE SEASON – FILLING THE GAP
Coaches, it’s getting harder and harder to have time with players to coach them…we’ve cut down on minicamps, we’ve cut down on training camps, we’ve cut down on two-a-days…how do you get this guy ready as a rookie to play football in the NFL. – DANTO BARTO
For most of the 19th Century, we have seen almost every sport except Football run a successful and competitive minor league system or farm club system. Specifically, Baseball and Hockey, with Minor League Baseball and the American Hockey League. MLB beginning in 1901 and AHL in 1936 respectfully. The purpose is to train, develop and further the playing career of professional hopefuls in their respective sports. Without these minor league systems in place, thousands of players careers would come to a preverbal halt if the draft came and passed them by for whatever reason. Like in the Warner example above, in 1994, for whatever reason it was not Kurt’s time. If NFL Europe didn’t exist, at that time, would he ever have reached the Hall of Fame? Only fate knows the answer, but the point is more must be done to give the selective pool of 3,000 players each year, a better and more favorable chance to continue their profession at whatever level.
The College Gridiron Showcase is one of the first groups in the last 20 years that has taken the necessary steps to enact change and provide an opportunity where it once didn’t exist. Bowl games are great, but do College Athletes exist for the solitary purpose of entertainment and raising money…? These men are the future generations of leaders that will shape a new generation of athletes for years to come. They have given the bleachers and fans 12-15 years of their life for a game, I think we owe all of them more…more promise. For the CGS, they are doing just that.
DIG DEEP MOVIE FACTS – PRE-PRODUCTION
Originally all CGS administrative staff and my film crew would be staying at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Addison, TX, adjacent to the field location for the event. However, since over 500 players, family and participants signed up for the event the CGS had to give up staff rooms to accommodate players. It’s January, three days before the event and the crew has no where to stay. AHH!! Luckily I was able to find a vacant property for sale and convinced the owners to let us rent it for the shoot, we were saved! The irony, the house had 2 hot tubs that not a single one of us had time to enjoy…commitment has sacrifices, lol.