DAVIE – The overall energy and vibe was palpable at the inaugural Orange Bowl Showcase on Saturday, Feb. 25.
More than 500 total unsigned college football prospects from the Class of 2017 took part in a series of tests, positional drills, 1-on-1s, and an event-ending 7-on-7 drill segment for the skill position players. Once the morning action ended, the high school football outgoing seniors spoke with a host of Division II, Division III, NAIA, and JUCO colleges on hand at the function.
From Palm Beach County, there were a total of 124 pre-registered high school seniors for this event, though it will be some time before an official final count will be revealed. But from what actually did take place, there were several area players who stood out from the pack.
Palm Beach Lakes 2017 quarterback Armani Edden was the best overall performer from our area and the best quarterback of every single one out there. He was lights-out with his reads, footwork, and accuracy, as evidenced by a series of timely throws and touchdown passes in both the 1-on-1’s and the 7-on-7 drills.
“It feels great to let my work do the talking for me,” Edden said of the Orange Bowl Showcase, which was held at the Nova Southeastern University soccer field complex. “I just had to go out there and prove myself again today.”
Edden completed a series of passes to the likes of wide receivers Cliff Thomas (Palm Beach Lakes; 2017) and Leonard Woods (Suncoast; 2017), among others in the field.
“I had a really hot rhythm,” Edden said. “I just felt comfortable with my receivers being able to make plays out there.”
Edden said there are no leaders right now for his college football services. We’ll have to stay tuned to see where he decides to go at for the next several years.
“I just need to find the right fit for me,” Edden said.
Other standout performers include the likes of West Boca Raton 2017 wide receiver Shavon Taylor, Village Academy 2017 quarterback Roundes Louissaint, St. John Paul II 2017 athlete Addison Bohannon, and Glades Central 2017 wide receiver Rodney ‘Juice’ Porter.
“I loved it out here today,” Louissaint said. “It helped me become a better player. This camp by itself helped me learn a lot about myself. I feel like I could take the skills I learned to the next level.”
Louissaint’s favorite part of the Orange Bowl Showcase was the 1-on-1’s. He liked the 7-on-7 drills as well.
“I got to get my chemistry better with some of the receivers I know,” said Louissaint, who completed several passes to Atlantic 2017 wide receiver Lamar Brewster and Taylor throughout the day. “The 1-on-1’s helped me with my ball placement and I learned how to beat the corners up with throws to my receivers. It was something I’ll never forget.”
The Orange Bowl Showcase ended with a passionate speech from former NFL linebacker Channing Crowder, who overcame multiple ACL injuries to reach the professional football level.