Some of the nation’s top football prospects in the East could be seen strutting their stuff on the Smyrna High School football field this past weekend in one of five Ultimate 100 Camp’s with the National Underclassmen Combine.
The National Underclassmen Combine is an event for high school football players to play against students in their grade and position to see who’s the best in the position in the country in hopes of gaining exposure for college recruiting.
The participants in these events are narrowed down to the Ultimate 100 in each region: East, West, Southwest, South, and Midwest.
Smyrna hosted over 400 athletes in the Ultimate 100 Camp for the East region, said Smyrna football coach Clay Lloyd. Smyrna hosted one of the initial combine events two weeks ago.
“This is what I think is key. The five locations are Los Angeles, Dallas, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Smyrna, Delaware,” Lloyd said.
How did Smyrna convince the NUC to host the event in Smyrna? By informing the NUC that Smyrna has great facilities, turf fields, gymnasium and more. Without setting foot on the site, the NUC asked Smyrna to host the Ultimate 100 for the eastern region.
“We’ve heard nothing but compliments about our facilities as a school district,” Lloyd said.
EJ Barthel, NUC’s Director of Northeast Camps, said Smyrna’s facilities and athletic staff are first class. One of the keys for NUC is finding locations with a great football environment.
“This is one of the best facilities I’ve seen,” Barthel said.
Throughout the weekend athletes participated in a series of events typically seen at the NFL combine – the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, vertical jump, bench press, and broad jump. Athletes also competed in drills by position and a seven-on-seven team tournament. The rising freshmen and sophomores competed on Friday night, rising juniors on Saturday and rising seniors on Sunday.
“What’s nice is they’re all things that we do in our program but they’re the standard things as far as testing,” Lloyd said.
From here the top few athletes from each grade and position will be invited to the NUC’s Ultimate 100 Top Prospect Camp this July in Oklahoma.
Not only did Smyrna host the event but a few Smyrna athletes participated as well. Seven football players participated in the combine hosted in Smyrna two weeks ago; four of these athletes were invited back for the Ultimate 100 Camp.
While Lloyd said he doesn’t know if Smyrna will continue to host the event in the future, he hasn’t received any negative feedback. And he’s grateful for everyone in the Smyrna community from the school district to Athletic Director Bill Schultz to the Athletic Boosters for helping with the event.
“It’s nice this is in our own backyard. It’s in our house. If we’re able to keep it here, the kids in our program are going to have this available to them,” Lloyd said. “You’ve got kids from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and North Carolina and our guys just have to drive to school for it. I think that’s a pretty awesome opportunity.”
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