National Football Foundation

News Detail

First of Four NFF High School Showcases in the Books
Los Angeles starts a series of free NFF events giving high school seniors an opportunity to earn college scholarships.
Published: 2/14/2017 2:29:00 PM

IRVING, Texas (Feb. 14, 2017) – The Fifth Annual California Showcase kicked off the National Football Foundation (NFF) High School Showcase season this past weekend, providing approximately 500 academically eligible seniors a free opportunity at a divisional scholarship. The Los Angeles event, which attracted recruiters from 65 colleges this year, will be followed by events in Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C. All four events, which are taking place between Feb. 11 and March 4, are totally free for both participants and college recruiters, and organizers estimate that the four events will connect more than 2,000 aspirants with recruiters from more than 100 different colleges and between $8 and $10 million in academic and participation scholarships will awarded for the participants’ freshman years in college.

“The Showcases have truly become a phenomenal opportunity for high school seniors to continue their educations,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “This is directly helping kids get to college, and at the end of the day we get to say a lot of kids got to go to college because of football. Terry Donahue and his team deserve huge praise for all their efforts in staging the event in Los Angeles.”

The NFF High School Showcases provide academically eligible high school players, who did not sign an NCAA Division I letter of intent, an opportunity to go through a series of drills in front of divisional college coaches from the NCAA Division II, III and the NAIA levels. Participants, who all have to meet minimum academic standards, compete in a series of athletic drills designed to let divisional college coaches assess each player’s potential, including a 40-yard dash and several agility and strength tests. The events allow the college recruiters a unique opportunity to evaluate a large number of qualified student-athletes in a short period of time while minimizing their travel costs.

“These kids wake up Saturday morning, and they have nothing,” said Donahue, the College Football Hall of Fame Coach from UCLA who launched the NFF High School Showcase in Los Angeles in 2013. “And by Saturday evening, one fourth of them are going to get financial aid to go to universities around the country. If they just show up and compete, one out of every four will have some kind of financial opportunity to go to college this fall. I mean that’s staggering when you think about it like that. You think on the magnitude of that at four different events. It’s pretty impressive, and it’s pretty moving.”

Donahue stated they have made a concerted effort to build a group of volunteers from a wide variety of universities and backgrounds, which goes way beyond his UCLA roots, citing the participation of former players and coaches from Southern California, Norte Dame, Nebraska and Cal Lutheran. He also credits the Donahue Scriber Realty Group, a private real estate investment trust in the western part of the country, headed by his brother Pat Donahue, who is the chairman & CEO, and Larry Casey, the president & COO.

“There is not a chance that it would run as well without Donahue Scriber,” said Terry Donahue. “The whole thing is business oriented and sophisticated. It runs like a business, and it meets it budget every year. Each fall when the final results are final, we make the effort to call the universities that attended and find out who is on the rosters from the Showcase and the approximate amount of financial aid, so our statistics and the data are correct. We can then back up our numbers for the sponsors.”

Donahue Scriber has been a key force in the event’s growth, providing more than 75 volunteers and throwing their business expertise and financial support behind the event as well as attracting additional sponsors, including Toyota Financial Services, Back of America Merrill Lynch, Union Bank, Preferred Capital Advisors, Sares-Regis Group and Morgan Stanley. The event runs on a tight budget, including enough money in reserve to run next year’s event.

“It’s a great way for all of us who love college football to give back to the game,” said Donahue. “We have had phenomenal success. This may have been our best camp. There was a lot of talent and a lot of great athletes running around. Our coaches did a really job.  This is our fifth year, and it’s running on all cylinders now. The opportunities that have been created are just astonishing.”

Media coverage of the Los Angeles event included:

·         The Los Angeles Daily News

·         High School Football America

·         The Los Angeles Times

Launched by a group of Houston coaches in 2009, the concept expanded to Southern California in 2013 with the two events in South Florida and North Carolina added this year. Last year, the events attracted representatives from 110 colleges covering 30 states, coupling them with more than 1,000 aspiring college players who earned millions of dollars in academic and participation scholarships. Collectively, organizers estimate that the four events will reach more than 2,000 seniors this year with an estimated one-in-four receiving some kind of financial aid to go to college.

Feb. 11
-- The Fifth Annual California Showcase, launched by College Football Hall of Fame Coach Terry Donahue (UCLA, 1976 – 1995), kicked off the season on Feb. 11 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

Feb. 18
--The Ninth Annual Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase, founded by Phil Camp, the former head football coach Milby High School in Houston, Coby Rhoden, an academic coordinator at Houston Heights High School, Chris Vaughan, a member of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and Daryl Wade, the former athletics director for the Houston Independent School District, will take place Feb. 18 at the Houston Sports Park in Houston, Texas.

Feb. 25
-- The Inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, led by the Orange Bowl Committee and its newly installed president Don Slesnick, immediate past president, Judge Michael B. Chavies, CEO Eric Poms, and NFF Board Member and Orange Bowl past president Bob Epling, is set for Feb. 25 at the Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

March 4
-- The Inaugural Carolinas Senior Football Showcase, spearheaded by ESPNU college football analyst and former UCLA player Charles Arbuckle, in conjunction with Blazing 7 on 7 (a local non-profit organization that runs offseason passing leagues), will conclude the series of events on March 4 at the Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, N.C.



About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour & VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org.

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