It’s that time once again for high school football seniors (2024) who still have nowhere to head to college in the summer and fall, and junior (2025) who want to get a jump on next year.
With years of practice, games, camps, combines and many sacrifices, it never seems fair that all the work put in has hit a dead end -for so many current seniors and juniors.
With the landscape of college recruiting changing dramatically with the “transfer portal” and “Name, Image, and Likeness” deals, attaining a college scholarship or getting financial assistance has taken a hit. But thank goodness there are people who understand what’s going on.
With rich past and solid reputation of making dreams come true, the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase presented by Baptist Health is still in place and will once again host an impressive day of showcasing talent and grades to college coaches who flock to the area to fill their rosters with Sunshine State talent in the next two classes.
On Saturday, February 24, St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens will once again host an event like no other.
As small college recruiting fairs are held throughout Florida and the nation, there are none like this – which begins at 8 a.m. and runs through the early afternoon.
The Friday night before the showcase, the Orange Bowl hosts a Meet & Greet at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood and is free to high school coaches and college coaches to attend, meet, and discuss student-athletes that will be competing in the showcase on Saturday. The Meet & Greet allows high school coaches to present information on their participating student-athletes to enhance their recruitment and build relationships with attending college coaches.
With college coaches surrounding AutoNation Field on Saturday in tents, they have the chance to showcase their programs and promote their schools while watching the players go through combine drills live.
“There is nothing like this anywhere,” said Coral Glades head coach Rocco Casullo. “I think that the small college fairs they hold around this state have become obsolete, and showing film and talking with athletes can be done from their offices on Zoom and other forms of communication. But this event continues to add a whole different dimension by having the prospects performing right in front of the coaches.”
Indeed. In 2023, nearly 30 colleges/universities attended with over 200 student-athletes, representing 82 high schools taking part (with a 3.0 GPA and above), 60 participants were recruited and are on rosters of colleges who came out.
In addition to our local NAIA schools and smaller colleges, programs from as far away as Texas and throughout the New England states and midwest took part.
Since 2017, when this began at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, over $8 million in financial aid has been provided to participants in the showcase. In that time, over 400 student-athletes were recruited by colleges & universities in the first seven years.
“When you look at what the Orange Bowl continues to do for the student/athlete who still have that dream, it’s amazing what this showcase represents,” Miami Southridge head coach Pierre Senatus pointed out. “I have been a part of several high school programs in Miami-Dade and Broward as well using this event when I was a coach at Florida Memorial University. This is something that these young men need to take full advantage of, and the addition of juniors who are looking to get on the map early enough is a tremendous idea."
The Orange Bowl’s mission and vision is to promote and serve south Florida in order to inspire youth, engage the community and enhance the economy. The Showcase meets that mission and vision by providing an opportunity for young student-athletes to use their football and academic skills to attend college and ultimately earn a degree. This effectively has the profound effect of changing young people’s lives.
The Showcase is a FREE one-day event, in association with the National Football Foundation (NFF) and its local chapters, that will bring together high school seniors and educational institutions in Division II, III, and NAIA programs from across the country.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE
All student-athletes must pre-register. The participant must be a graduating high school senior or a junior who has not accepted a scholarship offer from a Division I football program. In addition, Orange Bowl recommends the following qualifications:
Have a 2.5 GPA or higher in 16 Core Courses (please visit http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/core-courses for a description of NCAA Eligible Core Courses).
* Have an SAT score of 920 (math and verbal only) or higher.
* Or have a composite ACT Score of 18 or higher or a sum score of 68 or higher.
* Students must provide their own transportation to and from the venue.
* Students are encouraged to bring two pairs of shoes (football shoes and running shoes).
* Students are encouraged to bring extra copies of transcripts and test scores.
Event t-shirts and water will be provided.
PARENTS – BE PROACTIVE
An information session will take place during the showcase to educate parents on financial aid, NCAA and NAIA eligibility requirements and much more. We encourage you to attend this session to learn more about putting your student-athlete in the best position to be successful and college-ready. Further information regarding the parent information session will be sent out close to event day.
Interested in taking part? Contact - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScoxLcKPP1jf26pAz82QH33fGDRfD--xZgWwQj8i0UI2hOHkg/viewform