Shoemaker athletic coordinator Toby Foreman saw 15 athletes sign to compete at the collegiate level this year, including eight Wednesday.
But on Thursday afternoon, he was back to work promoting his students.
Many athletes with a desire to play college football typically attend camps throughout the summer for recruitment purposes, but the Grey Wolves head football coach brings recruiters to Killeen for anyone who may not be able to attend other camps.
College Football Day was a concept Foreman brought to life five years ago, when he was head coach at Beaumont Central.
Inspired by Alabama’s Pro Day, Foreman continued the annual event when he came to Shoemaker.
“I said to myself, ‘Why can’t we have what I call College Day now and do it at the high school level?’” Foreman said. “So, I called the NCAA, and I called the UIL and made sure everything was legal.”
Shoemaker’s third annual College Football Day was held Thursday during the third week of the Grey Wolves’ spring practices.
Among the 14 colleges and university scouts in attendance were Division I programs like North Texas, Baylor, UTEP and Colorado State. Smaller programs were also in attendance.
The day is organized similar to a
professional combine camp with the players dressed in full pads and partaking in various drills.
Recruiters met with Foreman before the camp started to receive packets that included a prospect sheet, contact information and transcripts.
Players interested in participating had to meet certain academic and disciplinary criteria.
Also in attendance were students from two local middle schools — Live Oak Ridge and Palo Alto.
While the junior high football players didn’t participate in drills, they had the opportunity to learn about high school football and the recruiting process.
Although athletes enjoyed the afternoon showcasing their skills and abilities to collegiate recruiters, the Grey Wolves have used much of spring practice for growth as they aim to build off of last season’s success.
“Our record last year was 2-8,” Jalen Gillory said, “and I want to fix that.
“I’m going to try to go to the playoffs and try to go to state for my senior year. We just have to work hard.”
Over the last few weeks of practice, the Grey Wolves are proud of how their team chemistry is starting to make a difference.
“We’re seeing how much we jell,” sophomore Devin Erwin said. “We can see who has been working and who hasn’t, but we’re just bonding as a team.”
Many of the Shoemaker players are focused on other athletic areas this offseason, hoping it carries over onto the field next year.
“It’s been a long time since I played football,” Monaray Baldwin said. “I ran track, and I was kind of tired of track and ready to get back on the field with my brothers.”
The sophomore wide receiver competed in the 100-meter race, 400 relay, 800 relay and the long jump for the Grey Wolves.
Finally able to play spring football with pads on, the relatively young Grey Wolves team is seeing all the preseason preparation begin to pay off.
“We’re seeing all the work we put in during the offseason,” junior safety Devin Owens said. “From lifting weights to all the running to all the pushing that we did, and now we’re seeing it come back to the field.
“Everybody’s working hard and getting better.”
Shoemaker will host its spring game May 24 at 6 p.m., but the Grey Wolves are already anticipating the fall.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Gillory said. “We have a younger class, but they’re fast.
“They’re not as strong, but we’re getting there.”