Sunday, 12 July 2015 00:08

Grassroots Game Changer

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Grassroots Game Changer and St. Johns Freshman Rakim heating up the red carpet. Grassroots Game Changer and St. Johns Freshman Rakim heating up the red carpet.

Grassroots Game Changer Program:


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce the creation of the Grassroots Game Changer Program, Powered by Under Armour.  Before I go any further I want to thank the folks at Under Armour for believing in us enough to take a chance and support our dream.  We want to also thank the University for Maryland for renting us their beautiful facility to have our 1st induction ceremony.   

This program is one that is dear to my heart because it allows us to truly have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our young people.  Grassroots was created on the premise of using the Great Game of Football to help young boys develop into young men who are prepared to make a successful transition into adulthood when their playing careers are over, whenever that may be.

The first 6 years of Grassroots have been very successful on the field and off of it, but as we struggled to keep the doors open financially and grow into a self-sustaining company, we haven’t had the ability to focus as much on what is really important to me.  When I created Grassroots I had no intention on just creating a great football league that focused on helping kids maximize their chances of getting to the right HS so they can effectively compete for a college scholarship one day.  For sure those are some of our goals, but those goals are part of a much larger goal.

Although we understand that college is a key component for success in America, how many student athletes must we watch go through the process, become HS stars, go on to college on scholarship and play major college football, but who don’t end up graduating and allow the game to use them instead of them using the game?  How many student athletes must we watch throw their opportunity for a better life away because of poor choices and decisions that they make on college campuses? 

In the month of July 2015 we have seen two Florida St. players be expelled from school and lose their scholarships because of poor decisions.  This is not to pick on a great school like Florida St. because I can assure you that incidents like that are happening on college campuses all over the country as we speak.

At some point we have to realize that as much as we want all of our kids to have a real chance to compete for a college scholarship, that scholarship offer in and of itself is NOT going to be enough to ensure a successful life for our babies.  For Grassroots to come in and streamline the process for HS recruiting is great.  To give kids maximum exposure is great.  To ensure that they receive top notch coaching is great.  To play against the best competition is great.  To train them and prepare them to be dominant HS Football and College Football players is great.  But if we can can’t change the mentality of our star athletes and grow them mentally and spiritually, all we are really doing is repeating the cycle.  I have no intention on repeating cycles that don’t work.


What is the Grassroots Game Changer Program?

I know you want me to get Right to the Details, the Benefits, and the Names of the initial Game Changer Inductees.  Before I do that you must understand the Need for the Program, and the Why it is needed so desperately.  Everything we do at Grassroots has a purpose and I need for you all to understand the vision, mission and purpose.  So bear with me for a few moments.  It will make all the difference in the world when I finally do give you the details.

The Game Changer Program is the first initiative that we are introducing that we believe will begin to change the mindset of the star athletes, their parents, their inner circles, and their support systems and ensure that they are all in line with the principles that they will need to master to ensure long term success.  The Game Changer Program represents the motivation!!!! 

The second initiative is the Grassroots Youth Mentoring (GYM) Foundation.  We are in the process of re-launching our new and improved GYM Foundation and when we combine Game Changer with the GYM Foundation, we will truly begin to Change the Game and prepare our student athletes for Long Term Success in Life.  They will be able to use the game of football and not continue to let it use them, as so many athletes have done and continue to do.

Background Information:

Receiving 30 College Scholarship Offers and Signing a Letter of Intent is a dream come true but it is not the long term goal and does not ensure long term success.  Long term success means that our athletes are able to make successful transitions into the real world when their playing days are over.  Long term success means they are able to take care of their families and be financially secure for the rest of their lives. 

If they are not physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially healthy as adults, who have the ability to contribute to society in a meaningful way and be role models to the next group of kids who look up to them, then they are NOT successful and we have failed them!  So many athletes have failed through the decades, and are failing as we speak.  We don’t want our Grassroots athletes to be a part of the failure.  We want success stories.  We may not be able to save them all, but we do plan to spend the rest of our lives trying.  The Game Changer Program will be a valuable weapon in the war against mediocrity and failure and we plan to use it strategically, as you will see very shortly.

It doesn’t matter if an athletes are 5 Star Rivals prospects with 30 offers who will play at a BCS Schools and be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft and sign a $30,000,000 contract.  The question is, where will they stand 5 years after they retire?  What about 10 years? What about 20 years, etc.?  We won’t be able to truly evaluate how effective we all were as mentors and role models to them until long after the cheering stops.


·         16,000 HS Seniors play football in the State of MD and DC every Fall, most with dreams of making it to the college level.

·         Our region only averages 60 Division I Scholarships and 40 Division II scholarships each year, meaning that roughly only 100 student athletes will have a chance to play in college and receive a free education in exchange for their talents. Division III schools do not provide scholarships.

·         Only about 10% of the total population of athletes will get recruited to play in Division I, II, or III.

·         Here are the components necessary to make it into the 10% pool. Student athletes must be big enough, strong enough, fast enough, and skilled enough at their position to be recruited for college. Those that meet the physical requirements must then be academically proficient enough to qualify through the NCAA Clearinghouse to be eligible, and they must have strong enough character to give the colleges the comfort level to offer a scholarship.

·         In the end, there will be 1,600 (10% of the Total Population) that will meet all of the criteria.

·         That means every year 1,600 qualified student athletes that have everything it takes to play college football will compete for 100 available slots. 1,500 student athletes with the talent, grades and character will not have the chance to further their football dream.

·         Out of the 100 who will play in college each year, only an average of 5 will be NFL Draft picks during their senior years.  That includes all of the 5 Stars, 4 Stars, and 3 Stars who were highly rated out of HS.

·         Of the 95 Athletes who won’t go pro, the good news is that graduation rate for FBS Football Players has reached an all-time high of 75% in 2014.  The reality though is that although graduating is extremely important, just having a degree does not guarantee success in the world.

·         Of the 5 players who are drafted, not all will make NFL rosters.  Of those that make NFL rosters, the average career will be only 3 years.

·         75% of NFL players will file for bankruptcy within 5 years of their retirement from the league.

Why is The Grassroots Game Changer Program the Answer?

The majority of the athletes who play at the highest levels will NOT be successful in the LONG TERM.  This is NOT acceptable to me and I created Grassroots to Change the Game.  I don’t share those statistics to scare or shock anyone.  I just want our focus to change toward LONG TERM success and not to focus so much on just the financial aid packages that the High Schools are offering and the scholarships that the colleges will offer.


I am convinced that the Game Changer Program can help with this initiative and I will show you how.  Now, although we are pointing out that it takes more than a free college degree to ensure success in the country, let’s make no mistake about it, a college degree creates a tremendous competitive advantage for those that can achieve it.  And to be able to exchange one’s God Given talent for an education that would run roughly $250,000 is a true blessing.

We want that opportunity for our kids so the first thing we want to do is get them to understand the 4 Components that are going to be critical factors in the competition to receive a life changing, destiny altering, college football scholarship.  We will use the Game Changer Program to incentivize our athletes and their families to take these 4 components as serious as possible.  Let’s discuss those components and make them clear.

·      Right High School Fit:  I speak about this all the time but nothing is more important than to find the right fit academically, athletically, socially, and geographically, etc.  For some the best fit is the local public school.  For some it may be a boarding school.  For some it is a Charter School.  For some it is a private school.  It all depends on a myriad of factors, but finding the right fit is the first and most critical piece. To maximize your athletes’ chances of competing for a college scholarship, he will need to be at High School where he can get playing time, get well coached, get great film, and get a strong education that will help him qualify for NCAA Clearinghouse.  The colleges recruit directly from the High Schools, so that piece is critical.

·      Football Talent/Skill:  Colleges are only going to recruit who they consider to be the best of the best athletes, so your son’s talent and skill level will have to be maximized to the fullest.  He will have to be what we call a Goon if he is going to get a college scholarship offer and he will be competing with 1500 other Goons for 100 offers.  He must be able to play.

·      Academics:  Our athletes don’t have to be rocket scientists and straight A students, although we do want them to strive to be the best that they can be at everything they do, with school being priority.  Once the college coaches have identified the Football Talent/Skill portion to fit their criteria the next step is finding out if a kid can qualify academically.  The minimum requirements are a 2.3 GPA and a 900 on the SAT.  If the athlete does not have the minimum requirements it does not matter how good they are.  They will be passed over quickly because colleges have another 1,500 kids to choose from  the DMV who all can play.

·      Character:  For the athlete that picked the right HS fit, that exhibited the caliber of talent, and who qualified academically, the last test in the evaluation process is the character.  It is not just the character of the athlete that the colleges are evaluating, they are also evaluating the character of the parents, the extended family, and the support system.  Are colleges tempted to take chances on kids who are considered to be “that special?”  The answer is yes.  But as you can see from the College Sports News feed almost every month, it is coming back to haunt those that take chances and schools are taking less and less chances.  For one thing there are not that many kids who are truly heads and shoulders over the best of the best so they don’t have to take chances like that.  Once again, in the DMV there are 1,500 talented enough athletes for 100 spots, so they will quickly move on to the next kid if they see crazy activity on Social Media, see kids dropping N-Words and Curse words on Twitter, etc.  They follow all of this stuff at the College Level and the NFL level is even more detailed regarding character because millions of dollars are on the line.  If parents cross the line and exhibit character issues it will affect the college recruiting.

Here is the most interesting reality of the 4 components to maximize the chances of getting a college scholarship……..  The evaluation process begins in Middle School!!!!!!!  That is why we need this Game Changer Program and we need it now.

First of all, you can’t get to the first component, which is finding the right high school fit, if any of the other 3 components are missing in middle school.  If an athlete does not exhibit next level talent when he is in middle school, the High School Coaches are not going to recruit him.  If he is a great football player, but doesn’t have good grades in middle school, the High School Admissions departments won’t accept him.  If he is a great athlete, with good grades but he has poor character and a bad attitude, the High School Coaches will pass on him.  Finally, if he is a great athlete, with good grades and good character, but his parents are considered a “piece of work” and are in the stand cursing and acting up, the High School Coaches will pass on him. 

In rare occasions where the kid is truly heads and shoulders above the rest, there will always be one to take that chance, but it often backfires and will catch up with the kid and parent at the college level.

I say all of that to ultimately explain to you WHY THE GRASSROOTS GAME CHANGER PROGRAM is needed?

It represents a number of important facets that act as Rewards and/or Incentives:

·         It is a reward for being a tremendous athlete.

·         It is a reward for being a good student, or incentive to become a good student.

·         It is a reward for being a sacrificial and special parents, or an incentive to become better parents.

·         It is a reward for exhibiting great character, or an incentive to develop it.

We know what it takes to maximize the chances of using football to create a successful life and we want to use every trick in the book to incentivize our athletes and our parents to become exemplary student athletes, with great character and outstanding parents how are humble, appreciative and willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to give their children the best chance to reach their dreams.  As soon as we secured the Under Armour Deal, this was our first initiative and we couldn't afford to offer this without Under Armour joining forces with us.

Grassroots will play a vital role in this process of Changing Mindsets.

How Does the Game Changer Program Work?


Middle School Game Changers (Process has begun)

·      This is for rising & current 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders Only.  No rising 9th Graders or HS kids.

·      We will have 2 induction ceremonies per year:

o   One will be at the end of the Spring Season

o   One will be at the end of the Fall Season

·      Game Changer Selections are NOT lifetime inductions.  They are one year renewable contracts between the league, the player and the parents.  Just because an individual was selected as a 2015 Middle School Game Changer, it does not mean that he will make it 2016.

o     Each inductee will be required to sign a detailed contract with expectations clearly laid out for the year, where he will be evaluated regularly to ensure compliance with the program.

o     The contract does not include football requirements with regards to statistics, productivity, etc.  There is a certain level of ability that must be exhibited to be nominated for induction initially, but once inducted he can’t be disqualified based on talent and ability.  He will continued to be evaluated and expected to get better on the field each season because that is one of the things Grassroots is designed to help athletes do, but he can’t be disqualified for athletic performance once inducted.

o     Disqualification from the program during the year, or non-renewal for the next year will be based on the following criteria

§  Academics Expectations:

·      The contract does include academic requirements and improvement each quarter.  There is no minimum GPA that an inductee must have for initial selection, but once selected an individual education assessment will be made and an individual improvement plan will be developed for each inductee.  There will be benchmarks of improvement that we will need to see each quarter in order for him to maintain his status with the program. 

·      For example, if a young man has a 1.7 GPA and we decided to induct him based on talent & character, he will be expected to improve the GPA each of the following academic quarters based on the evaluation of our academic partners.  He may be required to improve by .2 points each quarter for example.  We will provide all of the assistance available to us to ensure that he improves if he makes the commitment.  If he is not willing to make the commitment and improve, he will either be disqualified from the program during the year if it is egregious, or just not renewed the following year.

§  Character Expectations:

·      We have no intentions on selecting athletes who have exhibited disrespectful behavior and/or questionable character.  That includes parents and family members as well.  We will closely evaluate and monitor the athletes and work with them to break whatever bad habits they have.  None of us are perfect and we don’t expect perfection.  We will expect and demand improvement from athletes and family members throughout the year.

·      All selected Game Changers and parents must sign a contract that will have all of the details and expectations regarding selection, academic expectations, and character expectations.  That contract is being drawn up and finalized as we speak.  We are confident that will all that we are offering these kids and parents regarding membership benefits, that they would not want to do anything to jeopardize this amazing opportunity and that we can use this as leverage to help shape the mindsets that we know the athletes and parents will need to be attractive to High Schools and Colleges.

What are we offering?

·      The Under Armour Sponsorship allows us the flexibility to create a phenomenal Swag Pack for each of our inductees.

o   Each Swag Pack will include top of the line Under Armour Cleats

o   Under Armour Compression Shirt with Grassroots Logo and the athletes name on it.

o   Under Armour Gloves

o   Under Armour Wrist Bands

o   Under Armour Socks

o   Under Armour Draw String Bag, and other perks

o   Retail Value of $350.00

·      Special Section on the Website with a Detailed Athletic and Personal Profile of Strengths and Weaknesses to give the High School Coaches and College Coaches good idea of the talent of the athlete.

o   Profile will include an interview of the athlete to get to know him as a person.

o   Season statistics, combine statistics, link to Hudl Highlight package (with free Hudl season subscription)

o   Everything the scouts need to know about the athlete will be included in this profile.

·      The Game Changers will be the most heavily sought after and recruited middle school kids in the DMV, which is an honor, but also puts a lot of pressure on them to perform.

·      Grassroots Game Changers have guaranteed spots on the Team MD FBU Teams.

·      Grassroots Game Changers get the full endorsement from the Grassroots Staff to every Youth Club Scouting Service, High School Coach, HS All American Game Scout, High School Scouting Service, and College Coaches.

o     We are willing to put our reputation on the line to endorse the athletic talent, academic proficiency, and character for every Game Changer and Parent.  This is why it is so important that they continue to improve and can be disqualified from the program.

o     We can’t afford for our reputations to take a hit and we expect the same loyalty and commitment from the athlete and parents that we are providing to them.

o     Lack of loyalty and commitment to the program is grounds for removal from the program.

·     Grassroots Game Changers are no longer allowed to pay fees to Grassroots.

·     Grassroots Registration fees for Spring and Fall Football are waived.

·     Grassroots Fees for showcase events are waived.

·     Grassroots Fees for Combines and waived.

·      In return, it is expected that our Grassroots Game Changers will be in attendance at All of our events, unless prior authorization has been granted.

·     Our Game Changers are the Flagships of the program.

How Does an Athlete become a Game Changer?

·      First of all you MUST the Talent!!!!

·      We must see you playing in one of our leagues.

·      The initial induction ceremony was a unique and one time situation, that will be explained below, but for all future Game Changer Ceremonies, you must be nominated by a Grassroots Coach.

o     The Head Coach must participate in either our Spring or Fall League.  Only Grassroots Head Coaches are allowed to nominate Grassroots Game Changers.

o     We are trying to begin to teach kids to be coachable and parents to respect coaches whether they agree or disagree because that is what they must do at the High School level.  Having the Head Coaches in charge of nominations changes the dynamic for the positive and that is the current process that is in place.  If for any reason in the future we realize a procedure can be improved of changed, we will do so.  For 2015 and until further notice, ONLY Grassroots Head Coaches will be able to nominate players.

·      We will not evaluate any player for Game Changer that we have not seen play in either our Spring or Fall League.

o     This is not a knock against any other league, but we know the caliber of competition in our league week in and week out and that means something to us.

o     We understand that kids have dilemmas and may not be able to play Spring and Fall Football with us every year, or any year.

o     The kids with the best opportunity will be the ones that play both Spring and Fall with us.  If you are only able to play in one of the leagues, and want to be nominated for future Game Changer you will have the opportunity to have your Grassroots Coach Nominate you for selection.  If you are not able to play in both leagues, the selection committee will evaluate that and in some cases it won’t be an issue at all.  For example, some kids play AAU Basketball in the Spring and are not available.  Or, we have one situation where a Game Changer from the Spring made a commitment to his Fall youth organization to play one more Fall Season and we are granting that.

o     It is important for us to know that our Game Changers are playing against the best of the best competition each and every season because we will be depending on them during the Post Season and we are putting our reputation on the line to endorse them.  We need to know that they are playing Grassroots Football and iron is sharpening iron every week in the Fall Regular Season, as well as Spring.

·      Nominations are submitted at the halfway point of each Season and athletes will go on a watch list for the remainder of the season.  Grades will be evaluated.  Film will be evaluated.  Research into the character of the kid and family will be conducted and final decisions will be made at the end of each season.

·      Head Coaches will have a limited amount of nominations that can be made, and the number will be very small.  We have not made a final determination on the maximum yet.  But this is an exclusive honor that parents and kids need to value and compete for with things like:

o   Being at practice on time.

o   Being respectful.

o   Communicating with the coach regularly.

o   Being good teammates and parents not causing issues in the stands and games.

·      Detailed documentation on the Game Changer Program will be emailed to each parent at the beginning of each season, but this information gives you some good insight into where we are trying to go with this program.

Initial Grassroots Game Changer Ceremony:

·         The initial Ceremony took place on Friday June 12th

o     The initial ceremony was a secret ceremony that was not marketed to the public for a variety of reasons.

o     We were not able to market it until the final elements of the UA/GYFL Contract were complete and that didn’t happen until the Thursday before the event.  We were afraid we may have had to cancel it.

o     There was also a chance that we could have had an issue with the UA contract and the last thing we wanted to do was publicize this and have it blow up in our face.

o     We didn’t tell any of the coaches about it, and we were not able to use the nomination system for the first one.

o     There was really no committee for this one.  I made the decisions based on my evaluations of the past Fall and current Spring Season. 

§      The FBU Teams are supposed to be the best of our best teams so many of the kids were pulled directly from those 7th grade rosters last year.

§      I combined those rosters with the evolution and improvement that we saw in the Spring Grassroots season.

§      I also included a few kids who just jumped off the page to me this Spring.

§      I decided to reserve the right to hold at least one spot in every induction ceremony for a kid who may not pass the eye test, but has some intangibles that just give them a chance to be special.  In every ceremony we are going to select at least 1 kid that people will not look at and think he is a beast physically.  However, there will be something about that kid and the parents that lead me to believe he can beat the odds and be a Division 1 football player.

§      I created that slot because of young man named Darryl DJ Turner who is a star player at DeMatha and who lit it on fire at the Opening.  When DJ was an 8th grader I knew he could play but to be honest I thought he was too small to play in the WCAC.

·      His mom and dad asked me for my opinion because they wanted him to go to DeMatha and I did everything I could to dissuade them because I just thought he was too small.  I thought the IAC was the right fit for him and I suggested St. Stephens St. Agnes at the time.  Well, they didn’t listen and sent him to DeMatha anyway.  4 years later he is one of the best HS football players in the Country and I have never been happier to be wrong about anything in my life!!!!!!!!

§      In Honor of DJ Turner, you can expect that every year I am going to try to predict who the DJ of that class will be.  He will be undersized, maybe not as strong and maybe not look the part, but there will be something about him that just made my gut say he is the one.

·      Lastly, the other reason I was hesitant to put this out was because I knew how many parents would be disappointed that their kids didn’t make the first cut.

o      I expected they would think that “this kid wasn’t that good, or that wasn’t fair, etc.”  I understand and I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.

o     There was a time when I said we would never do any type of ranking because parents and kids wouldn’t understand.

o     The good news is that this is the first of 2 ceremonies per year in middle school and we will do one every year that our alums are in High School, so every parent and child will have multiple opportunities to be selected.

o     Did we make some mistakes?  I am sure we did.

o     Did we miss some deserving kids this first time around?  Of course.

o     But what I have learned and all my parents have to learn is that it is a marathon and not a sprint first of all.  Second of all I hope this will incentivize the masses who weren’t selected to step their game up and go even harder.  Certainly the kids will put on their game face and prove me wrong if I missed them. 

o     More importantly I hope that they athletes will look deep in the mirror and say, “Okay I see what they are looking for.  If they want elite talent, watch me improve and dominate the Fall and Spring.  If they want grades, watch me get this work done and bring this GPA up.  If they want character, watch me transform into an even better person.”  That will hopefully be the case for my athletes and my parents.

o      I love ALL of you guys no matter what you talent level is, what your GPA is, or what your current character level is.  But if you want to get to where you are trying to go, I have to use any tactic in my arsenal to drive you to be better, and that goes for kids and parents.

o      Lastly, how you all respond to disappointment is going to determine who is going to be the last 100 standing on National Signing Day.  Everything that we do is going to prepare you for the next level, whether it is positive for you initially or negative.  Just ask any top High School Player and parent about the Rivals Rankings and ESPN 300 ranking when you get to that level.  Ask them about the way scholarship offers are made and whether they are always fair.  You must learn how to handle disappointment and use it as fuel if you are going to be one of the last 100 standing.  If nothing else, this experience is going to motivate those of you that felt deserving.  Show us in the Fall and we will see you at Maryland in the winter of 2015 at the next Game Changer Cerermony.

·         Below is a cut and paste of the Actual Program Format from the 2015 Ceremony.

o     It was truly a once in a lifetime experience!!!!! But we will do it again in the Winter.

o     There was catered food, a Step and Repeat Banner like the ESPY’s, Photo Opps with the coaching staff, and Super Hot Video presentation in the theater, the kids were dressed in business attire, etc.  Several top HS coaching staffs made it through to show support.  Even a few GYFL Alums showed up and showed love to the kids.  The parents were all glowing with pride.  The University of Maryland were great hosts as in essence they answered our call and presented an unofficial visit for our future stars.  It was a great night to be had by all, but there will be many more.



6:30PM – 7:15PM             Arrivals and Photo’s                        Gossett Field House Lobby

7:15PM – 7:45PM             Refreshments/Meet & Greet            Gossett Dinning Area

7:45PM – 7:55PM             Welcome/Kick-Off                          8th Grade Team Maryland Head Coach

                                                                                          Coach Terrence Byrd

7:55PM – 8:05PM             Guest Speaker                               Melinda Burch

8:05PM – 8:10PM             Guest Speaker                               DeMatha Senior RB University of MD Commit

                                                                                          Lorenzo “LoLo” Harrison

8:10PM – 8:15PM             Guest Speaker                               DeMatha Senior OL/DL Rivals/Nike Top 100

                                                                                          Terrence Davis

8:15PM – 8:25PM             Guest Speaker                               University of Maryland Offensive Coordinator

                                                                                          Mike Locksley

8:25PM – 8:35PM             Guest Speaker                               University of Maryland Head Coach

                                                                                          Randy Edsall

8:35PM – 8:45PM             Closing Remarks                            Grassroots Youth Football Founder & President

                                                                                          Mike Anderson

8:45PM – 9:00PM             Facility Tour/Group Photo               University of Maryland Weight Room



Try this DropBox Link to See Some Breathtaking Photos from the night!!!


Rising 7th Graders:

            Name                          Position          Team(s)

·         Gary Rosemond Jr.                  RB/DB             Fatz Bulldogs

·         Joey Trainor                           OL/DL              HC Stars

·         Torrance TJ Williams               OL/DL              Baltimore United/Shutdown Academy

·         Colin Henrich                          OL/DL              Loudoun County War Eagles

·         Michael Johnson                      LB                   Hamilton Tigers

·         Jared Altice                             OL/DL              Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat


Rising 8th Graders:

Name                                Position          Team(s)

·         Jalen Hampton                       RB/LB              MoHo Co Lions

·         Melteon Davis                        OL/DL              Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat

·         Blake Corum                          RB/LB              Manassas Mutiny/Southern MD Heat

·         Joshua Dodd                          WR/DB            I5 Elite/MoHo Co Lions

·         Antwain Littleton                    RB/LB              Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat

·         Rakim Jarrett                         WR/DB            Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat

·         Demon Clowney                     WR/DE            Montgomery Village/Southern MD Heat

·         Mekhail Sherman                    WR/LB/S         Laurel Wildcats/Southern MD Heat

·         Ryan Cannon                         OL/DL             Laurel Wildcats/Southern MD Heat

·         Brandon Dent                        OL/DL             Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat

·         Dominique Perry                    TE/DL              Montgomery Village/Southern MD Heat

·         Luke Hill                               DB/WR             Westlake Bulldogs/Southern MD Heat

·         Michael Forbes                      TE/DE              Marlboro Mustangs/Southern MD Heat    


    For the 2016 Ceremony, we altered the format just a bit.

    Below is a cut and paste of the Actual Program Format from the 2016 Ceremony.

o     We made it even better than the original in 2015, if that was possible.  We created a special category for rising 9th Graders and called them GYFL Play Makers.  We wanted to differentiate these kids from the Game Changer Status that several of them attained had as rising 8th Graders. This category was for the kids that had been through the entire GYFL cycle for multiple seasons. They had made a commitment to the GYFL Way, and we believed that these would be the kids that we could unveil to the world as the next group of D1 prospects for the Class of 2020.  These are the kids that we put our 100% Official and Certified Stamp of approval on.  So much bigger than just being great players with great character, but these are the kids and parents that made the highest level of commitment possible, with 8th Grade Spring Football being the highest level they could make.

o     There was catered food, a customized GYFL Step and Repeat Banner like the ESPY’s, Photo Opps with the coaching staff, and Super Hot Video presentation in the theater, the kids were dressed in business attire, etc. SEN Television was on hand with reporters, paparazzi, interviews on a real red carpet!!!  Our Play Makers rolled up on a Limousine Bus to be the first to step o the red carpet. Several top HS coaching staffs made it through to show support.  A few top GYFL Alums showed up and showed love to the kids.  The parents were all glowing with pride.  The University of Maryland were great hosts as in essence they answered our call and presented an unofficial visit for our future stars.  It was another great night to be had by all, only this time it was live streamed on Internet TV for the world to see!!!




Host: Chad Ricardo


6:30PM – 7:15PM             Arrivals and Photo’s                      Gossett Field House Lobby

7:15PM – 7:45PM             Refreshments/Meet & Greet            Gossett Dinning Area

7:45PM – 7:50PM             Welcome/Kick-Off                         8th Grade Team Maryland Head Coach

                                                                                       Coach Terrence Byrd

7:50PM – 7:55PM             Guest Speaker                               St. Johns Senior QB University of MD Commit

                                                                                       Kasim Hill

7:55PM – 8:05PM             Guest Speaker                               St. Johns Senior DT University of MD Commit

                                                                                       Cam Spence

8:05PM – 8:10PM             Guest Speaker                               DeMatha Senior RB University of MD Commit

                                                                                       Anthony McFarland

8:10PM – 8:15PM             Guest Speaker                               DeMatha Senior OL/DL Rivals/Nike Top 100

                                                                                       Marcus Minor

8:15PM – 8:25PM             Guest Speaker                               University of Maryland Recruiting Coordinator

                                                                                       Marcus Berry

8:25PM – 8:35PM             Guest Speaker                               University of Maryland Head Coach

                                                                                       DJ Durkin

8:35PM – 8:45PM             Closing Remarks                            Grassroots Youth Football Commissioner

                                                                                       Rick Doc Walker

8:45PM – 9:00PM             Facility Tour/Group Photo               University of Maryland Weight Room




Try this SEN Link to See Some Breathtaking Photos from the night!!!

Try this SEN Link to take you to the replay of the live Stream of the event.


Rising 7th Grade Game Changers:

            Name                          Position          Team(s)



Rising 8th Grade Game Changers:

            Name                          Position          Team(s)



Rising 9th Grade Play Makers:

Name                                Position          Team(s)


Read 5657 times Last modified on Monday, 20 February 2017 22:50

Support The GYFL

GYFL Combine Video

How Bad Do You WANT IT???

Burning Sands Interview 2013