A football combine is coming to the area, and everybody is invited to participate. Well, everybody between third grade and eighth grade.
The National Youth Football Combine, put on by League Bound Sports, is an NFL-style combine with current and former NFL players. It will head to Rex Putnam High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22-23. Event director Rashad Bauman, who played at the University of Oregon before getting drafted to the Washington Redskins in the third round, wanted to bring the authentic NFL combine experience to the kids.
"This is giving the kids the opportunity to be out there and compete, be in a fun environment, and go through the program and events before they have to go through the program and events at the next level," Bauman said. "The first combine I ever went to was the NFL combine. It was new to me. Had you had those experiences over the last 10 years, doing it every year and getting better and understanding the drills, I think it would have been better form for a better combine for everybody."
Those drills include the timed 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle, standing vertical jump measurement, positions-based skill stations, as well as height, weight and wingspan measurement, graded metrics and coaching, advice and a meet and greet with current and former NFL football players. There also will be interview portions where the kids can get used to speaking in front of a camera.
The NFL players who will be helping out with the camp include (but are not limited to) Eddie Pleasant (NFL S), Alex Green (former NFL RB), Rashad Bauman (former NFL DB), Patrick Johnson (former NFL WR and Super Bowl champion) and Keith Lewis (former NFL DB).
"I wanted to have a mixture of individuals, offense, defense, Super Bowlers, undrafted guys," Bauman said. "Eddie went undrafted and he's playing longer than anybody. This is his ninth year. It goes to show his longevity, his training, and everything that goes into that. Those are the aspects we want the kids to get a grasp of.
"We don't have a professional team, we don't have a major DI team here," Bauman continued. "It's kind of like these athletes are kind of farfetched from these kids. They're not accessible as if they were in California or Arizona, or Washington. We have to make sure our kids our represented in this area, and we want to make sure they have opportunities that a lot of kids in a lot of other states did."