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Warren Academy's showcase bridges gap between 142 athletes and college coaches
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Warren Academy's showcase bridges gap between 142 athletes and college coaches

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Deshawn Woods

The Warren Academy held the Top Prospects Showcase with the goal of bridging the gap between college coaches and athletes. Here, Deshawn Woods gets ready to block someone at the showcase.

Steve Warren felt like he needed to do more.

In 2008, he created the Warren Academy to help train athletes after his All-Big 12 career as a Nebraska defensive tackle then three seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers ended.

Then with the NCAA’s suspension of in-person recruiting through this summer, Warren came up with another idea. Saturday was the first of what he hopes will be an annual Top Prospects Showcase at his training facility in Omaha.

“The idea was to bridge the gap between athletes and coaches,” Warren said. “We wanted to make sure there was some type of exposure for them.”

In all, 142 athletes attended the event at Omaha Sports Complex.

“This for us is the first of what we hope to be an annual event,” he said. “The time of year might change depending on everything else. We have the space and opportunity to do it now and the format worked out.”

Athletes were broken up into three groups: offensive and defensive lineman; running backs, tight ends and linebackers; and quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs. Each player will receive verified laser testing in the 40-yard dash, pro agility and vertical jump.

The combine was invite only. Players were nominated by either their high school coaches, college coaches who recruit the area or the media.

“I think of a kid like James Carnie (Norris). Of course, he has a Division I offer and committed to Miami (Ohio), but could it have been bigger for him? He is happy where he is at, but could it have been bigger for him?” Warren said. “Alex Bullock (Omaha Creighton Prep) is another one that is going to benefit from today. A lot of these kids could’ve used some extra exposure.”

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