Thursday, April 16, 2009

The never-ending story

In recent years, college football recruiting has become more of a year-'round sport than the PGA and NASCAR. Even as the 2009 recruiting classes were being signed and sealed back on Feb. 4, everyone from experts to fans to college coaches was focusing on the class of 2010.

Kids have been committing to schools earlier and earlier, and more future stars are found as youngsters work their way through the "combine season," gathering for one-day spring workouts where they are weighed and measured and put through various drills. There are two big ones--Shrine Bowl Combines for both North and South Carolina--Saturday, with the North meeting at Butler High and the South at Spartanburg Dorman High.

The players will run the 40-yard dash, do a vertical jump, be timed in the pro shuttle agility drill and have their bench-press repetitions counted (with 185 pounds). They will also do position-related football drills.

Kickers start at 10 a.m., position players at 11.

I'm going to check out South Carolina's rising stars, while our Langston Wertz checks on N.C.'s newest prospects. You can as well--it's open to the public, free of charge. Fairfield Central High football coach Reggie Kennedy is coordinating the Spartanburg event, and I spoke with Sean Glover, Fairfield's associate head coach.

"We've been really working on this, getting ready," Glover said. "We expect to have about 125 kids there. I can't tell you who; it's all kind of a blur with all those names."

Glover said that the coaching staff for the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team will be on hand, along with most of the coaches selected for the state's North-South all-star game.

This gives them a head start in getting an idea of which players they want to focus on during the season. Us, too.--Stan Olson

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