March 30, 2012
This weekend local high school athletes will test their skills in a Central Virginia Elite Combine event at Monticello High School. Former Mustang and founder of the Athelite Factory Joe Sanford has teamed up with Scrimmage Play to sponsor the event that begins at 2 p.m. Sunday April 1.
"We're trying to chance the culture in this area to become a highly recruited area where Richmond and the Virginia Beach area have kind of taken over," said Sanford, who graduated from Monticello in 2004. "We need to start making this a more high recruited area and the way we do that is by having events like this and getting kids on the map."
More than 50 athletes have pre-registered for the event and will be tested in a variety of regular combine events like the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, the "L" cone drill, and broad jump.
Sanford says college football rosters at UVa and Virginia Tech are prime examples of how under recruited the area really is.
"There's something like 50-52 in-state players at Virginia and around 70 at Virginia Tech," he said. "Only one on each roster was from the Charlottesville area, which is unbelievable."
Sanford finished his high school career at Monticello ranked second all-time in passing in Central Virginia with 4,310 yards. He played one season at Virginia in 2005 (redshirt season) and transferred to UMass where he played from 2006-2009 as a quarterback and wide receiver.
"I thought I was a pretty good player and thought my stats were gonna get me into a scholarship at the next level," said Sanford of his experience coming out of high school. "But really when you step outside of here and see who else is out there in the state of Virginia, you see yourself as a little bit smaller. So I think this is a good chance to match your skills up against other kids in the area to see where you stand."
Athletes can pre-register at scrimmageplay.com or from 1-2 p.m. Sunday before the event begins. The cost is $40 per athlete which includes a listing in the Central Virginia Recruiting Prospectus, created by Scrimmage Play, and two runs through the combine process. Athletes will also receive group instruction between the runs. College coaches are not allowed to attend the event because it falls during the NCAA 'dead period' of no recruiting.