After a winter in the weight room, more than 100 high school football players from Long Island and the Northeast will take it to the turf for the annual Blue Chip Prospects Combine on May 4 at Sachem North.
"The kids want some kind of outlet and this is a great break for them -- a 'get ready' session for the fall," said Hans Wiederkehr, president of the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association, who runs the combine.
The combine includes the traditional five tests -- 40-yard dash, 185-pound bench press, vertical jump, standing broad jump and 20-yard (5-10-5) shuttle. The top 80 performers at Sachem North will be invited to the New York State Elite combine at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in June featuring the top 250 prospects in the state.
Additionally, the Blue Chip combine offers its participants a chance to actually play a little football after the running, jumping and lifting are done. "Our coaches put them into positions and have them run pass patterns, throw the ball and do some technique stuff," Wiederkehr said. "Everything is filmed -- the tests and the coaching skill sessions. That way, when a college coach looks at the film, he cannot only see how fast a kid ran the 40 but also how he ran his pass patterns or defended a wide receiver. That's something I really like about our event."
Sachem North coach Dave Falco, one of several Suffolk County coaches who will assist Wiederkehr, said: "The kids who have worked so hard in the weight room since January get a chance to see how they stack up against other kids. It's a chance for some kids to get their name out there for the colleges and get rolling with regards to recruiting. A kid that's not well known yet can step out of the shadows in May."
There are two sessions, at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and the combine is open to high school football players who will graduate between 2015 and 2017. The rain date is May 11. To register, go to bluechipprospects.com.