MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Coach Raheem Shabazz is planning his third combine for high school football players looking to get recognized by college coaches. Since the pandemic started he’s hosted two and has had 22 high school players get offers at the next level.
Since Shelby County Shools postponed fall contact sports until further notice, a handful of seniors have concerns about getting recruited to play at the next level.
“If I don’t play a game you can’t really rely on somebody they haven’t seen play," White Station senior defensive tackle and left guard, Cam Blaylock said.
“Schools were hoping to see more of my senior year film,” said White Station senior linebacker Jeremy Boyland, “because I changed positions, changed how much I weigh. Changed my whole game.”
Jeremy Boyland and Cam Blaylock are two White Station seniors who were depending on their season to get noticed by more coaches.
“I just feel like our senior season is in the air like we’re not going to play,” Blaylock said.
According to Boyland, “It’s very disappointing because everyone looks forward to their senior year where you leave it all out. It’s your last try.”
Trainer Raheem Shabazz trains nearly 200 SCS football players. His advice, “You train like there’s no tomorrow.” And don’t panic. That’s where he comes in. 21 schools from all collegiate levels have relied of Shabazz’s combine stats to recruit players. Florida State, Memphis, Tennessee, Lane, Akron, Alcorn St, Jackson St, University of Arkansas and TCU are just some of the schools he sends stats to.
He built rapport with college coaches by training athletes like Tennessee running back Eric Gray and 2021 top point guard Kennedy Chandler. For those who are worried they don’t have the film to show, he knows what metrics coaches are looking for.
“You can train like a Division 1 athlete now. You can go to a combine that’s credible, right now. It will be free. It will be spaced out,” Shabazz said.
Shabazz plans to visit every Shelby County School to host a combine. He says a smaller group of athletes will allow for better social distancing and chance at putting up their best numbers. The opportunity players like Boyland and Blaylock are keeping their hopes up for.
“I’m hoping to showcase that I got faster, just more athletic. I just want to show I got way more athletic,” Blaylock added.
“This is not the end,” Shabazz stressed. “It is a very big hurdle, but it is a hurdle none the less.”
There’s no date set for the combines, but Shabazz plans to host them soon.