CARLSBAD — Roughly 80 high school football players were selected from around the country to play in the first-ever Blue-Grey National All Star Classic Jan. 14 and La Costa Canyon senior Evan Denworth will be one of them.
Denworth, who’s been playing football since the 5th grade and has become a standout high school athlete, tried out for the Blue-Grey game as a way to test himself against other players from across the country, he said.
Tryouts were held throughout the country at NFL stadiums or team practice facilities.
Gus Bell, who is the director of the classic and also owner of Pro-Motion Sports USA, based in Millis, Mass., brought the Blue-Grey game to fruition as a way to highlight certain players that were flying just under college scouts’ radar.
Denworth first participated in the combine tryouts at the Dallas Cowboys training site in Oxnard, Calif., and after a successful showing, was invited to the super combine held at Paul Brown Stadium in Canton, OH, where 200 players tried out.
“The competition (was) a lot faster, the kids were big, too,” Denworth said. “It was a great opportunity just to fit in with them and to test my abilities,” he added.
The combine tested Denworth’s running and jumping skills and football skills.
During one of the combines, Denworth earned the nickname “Zeus” by one of the coaches because of his big curly hair and because of the high scores he was putting up, he said.
It wasn’t until the fall that Denworth received a letter in the mail, letting him know he was selected to play for the North squad of the team.
The selection process involved coaches looking at video of the players to make sure they weren’t just combine players, Bell said. “We also interviewed them in Canton to see what type of character they had, which is important to us.”
“I was excited,” Denworth said. “I was just so happy to be given this opportunity just to be a part of something so big.”
Denworth said that it’s a huge opportunity to challenge himself against some of the top players in the nation. He’s also looking to have a lot fun, too, he said.
While he isn’t sure exactly how he’ll be used in game situations, he’s counting on playing more defense, but added that it’s up to the coaches and how well he does in practices.
Denworth does plan on playing football in college and has been receiving attentions from several Division I schools from California, Oregon, Utah, Minnesota and Arizona, he said.
The Blue-Grey National All Star game will be streamed live on foxsportsflorida.com/pages/prepzone, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. PST. More information is available at impactprospects.com.