National Football Foundation

NFF Showcases - Testimonials

NFF Showcase Participants and Coaches Quotes

“In my opinion, there are not many opportunities to participate in an event that involves a sport you love with that many coaches and that much firepower. It changed my life. I got numerous recruiting offers because of the event…. In 20 years when I look back, it gave me the opportunity to leave home and my loved ones, which means building character and having the chance to grow and become an adult and that’s the honest truth,” said David Perkins, a running back from Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, Calif., who was one of nine players from the 2013 California Showcase on the roster at Division III Hiram College in Ohio.

“I ended up going not expecting much, and I really went to push my teammates to do their best. A couple days later, the William Penn coach contacted me. He said he liked my talent and work ethic, and he was going to offer me a scholarship to come play with them… The combine gave me the opportunity to play at the collegiate level and get an education at a private institution,” said Darrius Jones, who attended the combine in 2009 during his senior year at Sharpstown High School in Houston.

“I have been going for the past six years. It is great for a small college such as William Penn and Tabor who don’t have big recruiting budgets. You can see more than 500 athletes at one time, and the paper work is already done on their academic eligibility. It helps college coaches like me out a lot,” said Coach Steve Miller, the defensive coordinator at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., who previously coached at William Penn University in Iowa.

“You know who is going to be there before you arrive,” said Miller. “The athletes that we have signed have gone on to be first team and second team all-conference. It has meant three or four wins a year for our program based on the athletes alone. Without this combine, we would not be conference champs. It’s much needed talent to go along with the local talent, and the kids from the Houston graduate with a quality college education and prove to be great citizens and leaders in the community.”

“David [Perkins] is a leader in the weight room and on the team. The [Showcase] changed the rest of his life… It gave him an opportunity on where to attend college and exposure to different colleges. It will help him grow as a man being away from home. He’s learning determination, perseverance, commitment and discipline and all the things that he learns being this distance away from home. It’s going to change and shape the rest of his life," said Randy Moore, the head coach at Division III Hiram College in Ohio, who signed Perkins and eight other players at the 2013 California Showcase.

“It’s become a big event. I think it’s awesome for the kids in the area because a lot of the kids are going to go unnoticed. The Houston event allows me to get in and out in one day. What is so special about the event is that they are so well prepared. They have the young man’s grades, test scores as well as his general athletic criteria. It allows coaches like me from schools with strong academic criteria to pinpoint an individual kid, talk to him and watch him perform. It’s a great day for us,” said Baker University (Kan.) head coach Mike Grossner, who has attended the event in the past.


NFF Showcase Organizer Quotes

“The schools have federal, state and endowment aid available. But they have to have the people to give the funds, or it will sit dormant. We’re creating opportunities for the schools and the players to connect. It’s free to the colleges and the players. It’s a total non-profit, and nobody is making a dime. It’s just a great opportunity for kids to go to college. The schools get ethnic and geographic diversity, plus they get real talent. Some of these small schools would never see 500 kids… It’s like the Walmart of recruiting,” said Terry Donahue, the College Football Hall of Fame coach at UCLA who organizes the NFF California Showcase in conjunction with the NFF Newport Beach Chapter.

“Inner city kids go to work. They don’t have a chance to go to college. Everybody knows who the Division I kids are, but what about the kid who was your starting guard who gets overlooked for college. We use football as a tool to give these young men a chance to go to college,” said Milby High School head coach Philip Camp, a driving force behind the Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase since its inception.

“Credibility has been fully established with the local high school coaches and colleges. People were a bit skeptical at first that somebody might be making money at the event, but nobody is making a dime off this. It’s all for the kids, and it’s been fully embraced by the Houston coaches and the college coaches. People really understand it and realize that it’s a heck of a deal for the kids and the colleges,” said Chris Vaughan, a key organizer of the Greater Houston Showcase and a board member of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter.


NFF Showcase Participants Quoted in the Media

"Guys like me want this opportunity to come out and show what they can do, especially when you haven't gotten any looks by signing day. I've got a big chip on my shoulder about that," said North Forest High School senior Chancze Jones in a Feb. 15, 2014 Houston Chronicle article. Jones, who competed in the 2013 Greater Houston Senior Showcase, drew interest from Bacone College (Okla.), Louisiana College and McMurry University (Texas).

"It's really important to me to give these kids an opportunity to pursue a higher education through athletics, and that's what they want - the opportunity to play college football," said North Forest High School coach Mike Ferrell in a Feb. 15, 2014 Houston Chronicle article. Ferrell picked up all eight of his players who attended the showcase and helped them while they filled out the necessary paperwork.

"It's big because you get a large number of student-athletes in one area, and you're able to see them showcase their talents. And the other big part, for us - because we're a high-academic school - is the ability to have the tests scores and GPA right away so we can target the kids who can qualify," said Trinity University (Texas) assistant head coach Paul Michalak in a Feb. 15, 2014 Houston Chronicle article.


NFF Showcase Parents Quotes

"I had no idea about DII, DIII or NAIA opportunities and I don't think my son did either. We are very surprised with the interest he is receiving. This showcase is providing more exposure for my son then his NCSA profile."

"Coaches from colleges that attended the showcase have been very informative and supportive while making their offers. My son has received more offers than we could have imagined since the showcase."

"It is hard to understand what to do as a parent to help your son through this process -- who to trust, what steps to take, what tools to use, how to tell if he is good enough. Coming from a small private high school, I doubt if he had any exposure from games. Thankfully, his coach told us about your showcase. It was the only thing of this type that he attended and he had a great experience. He commented immediately after the event about how it was very efficiently run and he was excited about the number of schools who expressed an interest in him. He was able to select five schools to visit. As a result, he should be on a football roster in the Fall of 2015. Also, thank you for emphasizing the importance of grades and high SAT score. I don't think my son really understood how important those things were until now. He certainly could have done better as a student (didn't really study much except cramming before tests) as well as taken advantage of the resources available to him for SAT prep (he never removed the shrink wrap from the prep book we bought for him), but he chose not to. Fortunately, he is a bright young man and was able to achieve despite not putting in his best effort, but I think he has learned that just "skating by" will not cut it at a private university. Thank you for all you did for him."

"Ben's height, just under six feet, has long been a source of 'isn't it too bad' type comments. He is an offensive lineman and so many seemed to think there was no place for him, only the 6'3"+ boys. During junior year spring ball, others on his team were being spoken to yet, even with his coach's accolades, no one would even talk to him. Then his team had a run for the ages- four deep in the state playoffs. Plenty of scouts visiting and still no one to talk to him. Going to this showcase and demonstrating his ability and drive was a turning point. Having half a dozen top quality DIII/NAIA schools actively pursue him was life changing. The semi-pro DI level schools may be the Prince Charming dream of most players, but these schools are the true happily ever after. Great schools. Superior education. Excellent academic support. Athletic programs where the coaches know you as a person, not just a position and care about your success in life. That is what this showcase provides these student athletes."

"As a football momma, I also applaud your strict NO PARENTS rule. I have experienced too many horrible parents at events over the years. What a headache for the coaches and embarrassment for the players. This is their time to step up and present themselves."

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