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2015 California Showcase, Educational Opportunities Through Football

“This is an opportunity to change the direction of your life” – Terry Donahue

IRVINE – The former UCLA Coach stood before nearly 500 high school football players and delivered the compelling message of the day.  And that message was crystal clear.  This was, indeed, a life-altering opportunity.  For these young student-athletes were “trying out” for almost 50 colleges and universities across the country.  Their goal: a scholarship to play college football.

This was the third year Terry Donahue spearheaded the California Showcase, a massive effort that combined four major elements – the student-athletes, the college coaches, the volunteers and the camp coaches, made up of former college and NFL players and coaches.

The event was held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine for the first time after two years at the StubHub Center in Carson.

“Somehow it all works,”said a grinning Donahue who puts in yeoman hours to MAKE it work.  “It was a great day all around.

In 2014, the Showcase proudly placed 139 players in Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior colleges.  The total amount of scholarship dollars and financial aid packages amount to $2.5 million.

“We got one of our best running backs here last year,” said John Steiger, who coaches the running backs at Pacific University in Oregon.  “This is a great deal for us. We’re looking at a quarterback and a tight end this time.”

Quarterback prospects were being tutored by some impressive coaches, sporting notable pedigrees.  There was former Pro Bowler Jim Everett of the Los Angeles Rams, long-time college coach and UCLA quarterback Rick Neuheisel and even a current NFL starter, Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The final numbers for the day revealed 488 players were in attendance, 47 colleges and universities from 23 states and 11 junior colleges (129 college coaches in all).  There were a total of 88 staff coaches and 99 volunteers.

“I would have to say it was a great success,” said Donahue.  “We had a lot of players and a lot of schools.  I hope to get 125 to 150 scholarships for these kids.”

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