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Combine showcases LI football players to colleges

The third annual Long Island football combine at

The third annual Long Island football combine at Half Hollow Hills West will attract hundreds of possible football recruits looking to test their skills in front of interested colleges. (Nov. 27, 2009) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

For over two years, the Suffolk high school football community has been trying to even out the rocky road Long Island players must negotiate to play in college. On Sunday, May 9, the path will get just a little bit clearer.

The third annual Long Island football combine at Half Hollow Hills West will attract hundreds of possible football recruits looking to test their skills in front of interested colleges.

"I think Long Island has been under-recruited for 10 or 12 years," said Jim Clark, co-coordinator for the combine. "It's a big thing for these kids to compare themselves on a national level. A lot of the combine skills are universal. Whether you're in Oklahoma or Texas, a 40 there is the same as here."

Long Island football too often is overshadowed by its showier southern counterparts, Clark said, and its players less recruited in favor of the Island's favorite son, lacrosse.

The top 80 finishers will be invited to the national Under Armour Combine in Syracuse on June 6. Given that Division I schools can't attend because of NCAA recruiting rules, the high school combine is a useful tool for D-II and III schools looking for uncourted hidden talent.

"It exposes kids who haven't been exposed yet," said Hans Wiederkehr, co-coordinator and director of physical education at Babylon. "Everybody already knows who the D-I kid is. This exposes every other kid."

The event will include a 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, short shuttle, three-cone drill and a broad jump.

The combine will be held in two sections - the first beginning at 8 a.m. and the second at 12:30 p.m. The sessions will be taped and offered to colleges on gamefacevideo.com.

Twelve to 15 colleges have committed to attending. Athletes can visit http://www.bluechipprospects.com to sign up for the combine.

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