College Gridiron Showcase: Player Interviews

In my time at the College Gridiron Showcase, I had the pleasure of meeting several amazing people. From Jose Jefferson, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CGS, to various scouts from NFL teams. While these people were fascinating to listen to and observe, there were no interactions quite like the ones I had with the players. Doing player interviews was the main reason I was so thrilled about attending CGS.

As you can read from my interview with Jose Jefferson, the College Gridiron Showcase is completely dedicated to the players. This isn’t an event catered around scouts, NFL teams or even the NFL Players Association. The CGS was created for, and is actively managed to, improve the individual athletes that attend.

I want to give a look into these young gentleman, and let you see first-hand what they are about.

(Ray Buchanan, Jr.)


Interview with Ray Buchanan Jr. (CB-Northern Iowa)

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ray Buchanan, Jr. (CB-Northern Iowa), is a defensive monster. His school is in the FCS, and his conference is often considered the SEC of the FCS. The competition is tough, and the talent levels are high. Buchanan, Jr. started his collegiate career at Arkansas, so he was well accustomed to everything that Division I had to offer. Speaking with Ray was a pleasure. He was articulate and carried himself well.

(Joby Saint Fleur)


Interview with Joby Saint Fleur, DL from NW Oklahoma State

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Joby Saint Fleur (DL-NW Oklahoma State), was another fine example of what kind of talent the CGS brought to their showcase. Saint Fleur was second on the team in total tackles. When watching his tape, it was clear that he had a solid eye for the ball, and was always able to be either involved in the play, or just shy of it.

(Ondre Pupkins)


Interview with Ondre Pupkins, DL from Texas Tech

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ondre Pupkins (DL-Texas Tech) is someone that you need to keep an eye on, in the 2017 NFL Draft. Pupkins began his collegiate career at the University of Michigan. After an injury, there was pressure from the school for Pupkins to “retire” from football. Pupkins was able to rehab his injury, take care of himself, and bounced back wonderfully at Texas Tech. Joining the Red Raiders put Pupkins on the radar of several NFL scouts here at the CGS.

(Dalton Easton)


Dalton Easton, QB from Bryant

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dalton Easton (QB-Bryant) was another respectable player brought to the College Gridiron Showcase. When observing Easton, he never had a look of boredom or discontent on his face. The young slinger was constantly perked up, ready and available for scouts and for media personnel. He seemed genuine, and his talent is solid. At Bryant, Easton threw for over 2,800 yards and had 28 touchdown passes. He started out in Akron, but made the move to Bryant to secure a starting role. From his highlight tape and stat line, he deserved the role.

(Adam Jones)


Interview with Adam Jones, Safety from Northwestern State

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Adam Jones (S-Northwestern State) is another phenomenal athlete attending the CGS. Jones was a four-year starter at Northwestern State, and was a true leader on the team. If you don’t leave here knowing any more than one thing about Adam Jones, it should be that he is big on accountability. He talked about leading by example often. As a leader on the team, he made it a priority to set the standard of play for the defense. He is an athlete, in the truest sense of the word. Things are going to go well for Jones in his journey into professional athletics.

(Terrell Hudson)


Interview with Terrell Hudson, Safety from Ashland

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Terrell Hudson (S-Ashland) made me laugh, in a good way though. I don’t think there was a more laid back, but truly dedicated player at the event. When I spoke with him, it was clear from the start that he meant business. His reputation speaks for itself. Switching to Ashland in the middle of his collegiate experience proved to have challenges. Hudson was able to overcome learning an entirely new playbook, and was on the field immediately after his transfer. As one of the players considered an all-around defensive player, Hudson spoke to feeling confident he could change positions or work special teams. As a Safety, Hudson spoke on being the “quarterback of the defense” and leading other players to accomplish the objective. The best part about Hudson, is when I asked what NFL quarterback he would love to sack the most. “Tom Brady. Hee’s a pretty boy and doesn’t like it,” Hudson commented. “But seriously, I have nothing but respect for Brady. He’s an amazing quarterback,” he went on to say.

(Tyler McCloskey)


Interview with Tyler McCloskey, FB from Houston

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

After I first butchered his last name (sorry Tyler!), my interview with Tyler McCloskey (FB-Houston) continued to be plagued by what appeared to be just bad timing. As you can see, after just getting the interview underway, McCloskey and the other players were quickly ushered to lunch, so that they could be on time for the seminars that were to follow. I didn’t get a chance to catch up with McCloskey face to face, but I did observe him at practice. This kid is awesome. Height, weight and overall appearance, he just looks the part. It wasn’t just looks with McCloskey, as he had an outstanding practice, and received lots of compliments from the coaching staff here at CGS. The compliments were in addition to the sound of dozens of scouts making notes on their pads.

(Emmanuel Obajimi)


Interview with Emmanuel Obajimi, WR from Samford.

Posted by Blake Cole on Sunday, January 8, 2017

Emmanuel Obajimi (WR-Samford) immediately impressed me. The first thing I liked was that he didn’t shy away from the tougher questions. His stats, found in the video, speak to the skill that Obajimi has worked years to build. Obajimi suffered a meniscus tear, and missed a week. After what was considered a speedy recovery, coming back in just a week, a slight agitation occurred, and caused him to miss another week. That being said, Obajimi has worked to rehab his injury, and has been closely monitored in the healing process. He’s definitely ready to play professional football, and he’s excited to put his talents to use.

(Jordan Bowman)


Interview with Jordan Bowman, S from Cal U of PA. #CGSAllStar #CGS2017 #INSC

Posted by Blake Cole on Monday, January 9, 2017

Jordan Bowman (S-California University of Pennsylvania) was my last interview of the event. This kid left an impression on me, that I truly believe will last forever. I read off his accolades in the interview. Once you hear them, you will see that Bowman is the real deal. What I like most about this young athlete is that he wasn’t the typical Division II “one hit wonder” player. He had more than one fantastic season. In fact, Bowman earned some kind of award in all four years of college. The general consensus on Bowman is that he has a high football IQ. He is alert, aware of his surroundings, and doesn’t over-commit on the ball. Watch his interview in full, I even encourage you to watch it twice. You want to remember his face. You want to remember his accomplishments. Jordan Bowman has a very real chance of playing in the NFL in 2017.

I wish I could have interviewed every last one of the 150+ players at the College Gridiron Showcase. The work that it took to scout these players, and invite the right ones to CGS, was no easy feat. I commend Jose Jefferson, Craig Redd and Rick Serritella for putting on a wonderful showcase. Just as they intended, the players were the main focus, and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to each individual one.

Check out the other articles I’ve written about the College Gridiron Showcase here:

Day 1

Meet and Greet

Player Profile: Daquan Holmes

Jose Jefferson, Co-Founder And Executive Director

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