SALINA—Is it football season yet? No, but that doesn't mean there's time off for any players in Kansas.
On Friday, former KU running back Jake Sharp hosted the Sharp Performance showcase at Fissel Stadium at Kansas Wesleyan University.
Hundreds of kids from the state all came to grab attention from college recruits with hopes of playing college football. That included some of the Mac County players that were in attendance.
Mason Thrash, Kaleb Hoppes, Jakob Feil and Tyson Gottwald participated in the showcase representing McPherson High School, while Tyson Struber was only player representing Canton-Galva High School.
Cody Stufflebean was also in attendance but didn't participate due to his commitment to Kansas State.
All of the athletes in attendance got the chance to learn some techniques based on their positions while competing against the next man in front of them. Gottwald and Hoppes worked out with the safeties, and both had their fair shares of making plays during the one-on-one drills.
"The coaches taught us a few things about our breaks and how to break sharp, and how to fix our stance and everything," Gottwald said. "I think it made me quicker on the field and being able to break on the field better."
Thrash was one of the linebackers that stood out. He benefitted the most by going against different running backs in the state.
"It's really fun. We don't get to do it a whole lot," Thrash said. "We just play the same team all year. So, playing against some kids from Kansas City and some smaller schools was kind of nice to see where you are against other kids."
One of the highlights for Thrash, who recently got offered by McPherson College in early June, was when he broke up a pass against Isiah Childs from Wamego High School, who recently committed to Akron University.
"He just came at me. I knew he was a kid that's going D-1," Thrash said. "I just kept my head right and knocked it out of his hands."
Struber was one of the youngest players there as he is going into his sophomore season. It was beneficial for him competing with the older kids who are fighting for a scholarship.
"It's pretty fulfilling that I can compete with these guys," Struber said. "I'm sure they work hard just as much as I do. I feel pretty proud of myself knowing that I can play to their level."
Other than learning techniques and doing drills, all the athletes gain some knowledge from Sharp. Sharp, a Salina native, brought up his high school days, admitting that he was undersized and overlooked as a high school prospect. He gave the athletes words of encouragement about the recruiting process and what is expected out of them.
He also mentioned the power of social media and how to market players in the way of getting noticed.
"It was definitely inspiring knowing that he was undersized," Struber said. "Just hearing his story inspired me to keep working."
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