By Craig Sager II
Football scattered, smothered and covered!
This offseason’s first Georgia Elite Classic Showcase is set for April 21, 2018 and will take place at Grady High School’s historic Grady Stadium. Players from the Class of 2019 through the Class of 2022 are eligible to attend, and can take advantage of this early opportunity to compete, get better, and showcase their abilities. And to top it off, they will get a lunch from Waffle House.
Athletes will be put through a dynamic warm-up before they are divided into groups and rotated through the following testing stations for measurements: 40-yard dash, agility shuttle and broad jump (players will get two attempts at each station). After all the measurable tests are completed, players will be divided once again and evaluated on their performance in position specific drills, 1-on-1’s and 2-on-2’s.
There will be five games this year on Dec. 28 at McEachern High School for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as the added “Brain Bowl” for juniors and seniors who hit the books hard.
Coordinating the showcase and leading evaluation process will be Georgia Elite Classic Director of Player Personnel and 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell, along with the Classic’s selection and review committee. Following the showcase, the results of each player’s performance will go out to more than 250 colleges and their coaches.
“The evaluation process is an essential part of recruiting and there are only so many camps to go to each offseason,” explained Mansell. “So this really is a golden opportunity for us. Holding this showcase allows the Georgia Elite Classic selection committee, recruiting services and players from the next four recruiting classes to dive into this process before the summer and really hit the ground running. You could drop a pin at Grady High School and go around a 30-mile radius and find DI and FBS players packed in everywhere.”
Mansell’s years of experience covering Georgia’s recruiting scene are primed for the controlled environment that this showcase will provide, and he is preparing ahead of time to take full advantage.
“That’s the goal with this showcase,” said Mansell. “Everyone gets a chance to compete on a levelled stage. So because of that, it really is a controlled environment. If I want to see a Mountain View kid go up against a Mill Creek kid, or give a recruit from a lower classification a chance to matchup with a player that he wouldn’t get to go against we can do that. There is no discrimination, and we get to go into full evaluation mode.”
Mansell and his team are also eager to observe the underclassmen talent, and get ahead of the game with their evaluation of prospects from the Class of 2021 and 2022.
“It’s always a cycle,” said Mansell. “The Class of 2018 was a group that had a ton of mega stars with guys like 5-star quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. They dominated a lot of people’s time because they were special players. That’s not saying they did not deserve all the coverage. They did, but there were just so many big names headlining the Class of 2018 that it was important to make sure they were all being well-covered. That being said, I think this 2019 class is better than people think and very well-rounded. I can already see it coming with the star-studded Class of 2020. Now, the Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 can really start coming into scope too.”
Lunch and hash browns will be provided by Waffle House and all participants will receive a Georgia Elite Classic t-shirt. For more information visit GeorgiaEliteClassic.com or click on the registration link. The Showcase flyer is also provided below.