First-ever youth football combine hits Diamond Lakes
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Dozens of NFL hopefuls hit the grass at Diamond Lakes Saturday for the first of its kind ‘Youth Football Combine’ at Diamond Lakes.
The event was brainstormed and brought to life by Augusta Parks & Recreation athletic manager, Marquez Gibson.
“Kids want to come back outside and play. And we’re given an opportunity to, to be a kid again. It’s no pressure. If they don’t, they don’t know football, we’re going to teach. You know, so just basically learning experience,” said Gibson.
Over 100 kids aged 7-12 showed off their skills.
The combine operated like the real deal, from the shuttle run to the infamous 40-yard dash. The athletes were assessed by high school coaches, former college coaches and players.
Combine coach James Gordon said, “Their dream is to go to the NFL, I’m not for that not their dreams, I’m gonna help them get to where they want to get, you know what I’m saying. So if they want to go to the NFL, we got to go through whatever we have to go through the journey to get there. So it starts with combines like this, it starts with cone drills And that just mobility and ability to get the kids there mentally.”
Not only was it to give the players an ‘NFL Experience,’ but one many never had before.
“From us playing, and when we were when we were children and seeing like, how much were we weren’t accessible to, you know, we just had to make away, they don’t have to be like that for them. We can make it hard, we can make it tough, but we can still teach them valuable things that we didn’t learn up until we got off and went off somewhere so they don’t have to play catch up so much,” said Elroy Maloyd, combine coach.
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