Along with all the Super Bowl festivities in the area, the 11th Annual College All-Star Football Challenge was hosted at the University of Tampa this past Monday.
The brightest stars the college football world had to offer dawned on a beautiful day in Florida and put on a spectacular for the students and college football fans.
This event has featured big name stars in the past such as Donovan McNabb and Joe Flacco just to name a few. This year the event had recognizable names such as Missouri’s quarterback Chase Daniel and Texas Tech’s quarterback Graham Harrell.
There were eight different competitions that the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and place kickers from all over the nation had to participate in.
Some of the events included a Long Throw competition for the quarterbacks, two different obstacle courses that the running backs and wide receivers had to traverse through and a Long Kick competition for the place kickers.
In the first event quarterback Nate Davis lost in a tie breaker to Graham Harrell, who won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award during the regular season, but Davis blew the competition away in the Long Throw event.
He threw his first ball an astonishing 67 yards and eclipsed that number with a colossal toss of 70 yards.No other quarterback could come close to matching that long ball.
Even though Davis has a strong arm, in college he was known for his scrambling out of the pocket, which can make him a duel threat at the next level.
The other three quarterbacks, Louisville’s Hunter Cantwell, Chase Daniel and Graham Harrell also had impressive showings, but Davis stole the show for the quarterbacks.
The placekickers took part in both accuracy and distance competitions.
West Virginia’s Pat McAfee won the accuracy competition, in which kickers had to make field goals from distances of 40-55 yards.
Florida State’s Graham Gano won the long distance competition, kicking a field goal of 54 yards to win the event. In warm ups Gano was routinely making field goals of 60+ yards.
Gano is both a placekicker at FSU as well as a punter, which should greatly raise his NFL draft stock.
He also won the Lou Groza award during the regular season, which honors the nation’s top placekicker. Pittsburgh’s Connor Lee and Utah’s Louie Sakoda also took part in these events.
Running backs and Wide Receivers had to battle through two different obstacle courses as well.The most exciting player of the entire challenge was Cal Poly’s wide receiver Ramses Barden, who was probably the most unknown player of all.
Barden is a strong presence on the field and looked like a giant compared to all the other players.
He ducked and slashed his way through the both obstacles courses and even though he didn’t win he was still enjoyable to watch.
He pumped up the crowd and did dances for the camera.
Other players that participated in the events were Uconn’s Donald Brown, Oklahoma’s Juaquin Iglesias, Penn State’s Jordan Norwood and UNC’s Hakeem Nicks.
Sam Gerb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.’ ‘ ‘ ‘