GOODING, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) You see how effective the NFL Combine is for college standouts looking to bolster their name. How often do high school kids get the opportunity to prove their worth to colleges? 2 We head to Gooding for the Southern Idaho Showcase Camp, providing an avenue for all classifications.
For Ruger Jennings and Sam Funkhouser, incoming seniors at Gooding, "we're out here having fun, trying to get better at our skills and positions, looking at other dudes as well. Yeah, out here trying to get the groove of things, trying to get ready for the season and seeing these other guys, we got some 3A guys here too, so we're watching them.
Minico senior Juan Ruiz sets the pace, accomplishing 31 reps at 185 pounds on the bench.
He has big dreams, but knows having a purpose is at the forefront.
Ruiz explained he's "learning about strength usually and school work, turning in homework on time, doing everything with a purpose, with a goal at the end."
Josh Mertz wowed the crowd when he reached a 31 inch vertical.
Mertz said, "I've been talking to colleges, but no offers yet. My dream school is to go throw and play football at Montana State so track and field."
The Middleton lineman is used to the exposure playing in the Treasure Valley against bigger schools, he values the purpose of the Southern Idaho Showcase.
Mertz exclaimed, "it's a good opportunity to expose yourself for the colleges to come, it's good for smaller schools like Gooding and I think McCall was here."
Andrew Woody, a wide receivers and strength and conditioning from Eastern Oregon University who also assists with special teams said, "with Idaho in general, you get some small town kids, they don't get seen as much, we try to help out as much. These kids work just as hard as those as big cities, hey you might not be a Mountaineer later on, but you could be at Rocky, but we're trying to get them to the next step of playing college football."
Alex Kastens, defensive line coach from Carroll College added, "I think the important thing is you see them in the spring in high school and you get a chance to see them now work in the field, see them run, so it's the second time they can put a face to Carroll College and we can see them run around a little bit."
About 325 athletes in one place, that's plenty of looks for these collegiate coaches.
Organizers made the camp free to college caliber juniors and seniors who registered through their head coach.