The Blue-Grey All-American Bowl exhibits some of the best talent among the top high school players in the country, and in its latest appearance at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., one of Surry County’s own, Nic Huff, was featured.
According to the game’s website, bluegreyfootball.com, the founders established a brand to help prep prospects from all over the country receive national exposure and increase their chances to secure college scholarships.
The recruits are selected for participation by invitation-only. Fifteen players who competed at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium on Saturday call the state of North Carolina home.
“Participating in the game was a huge honor to represent my school,” said Huff. “It was great being able to show that North Surry has great athletes and coaches.”
Huff, who posed a threat at 6’3” and 288 pounds on the Greyhounds’ defensive line the past few seasons, belonged to the Grey team. Huff was coached under the guidance of former NFL veterans: Head Coach Quinn Gray, formerly with the Jaguars and Chiefs, and Defensive Coordinator Ken Stills, formerly with the Packers and Vikings.
Huff’s Grey team earned a 27-7 victory over the Blue. The game was also streamed live on ESPN3 and the Impact Football Network.
“I first found out that I was selected when I received a letter in the mail congratulating me. At first I wasn’t sure what to think. I was pretty nervous, but when the time rolled around, I was ready,” said Huff.
Huff also participated in the Blue-Grey Mid-Atlantic Super Regional combine at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. on June 4-5. The skills Huff demonstrated at this combine were surely his winning ticket to becoming an All-American.
“Nic was a little hurt when two other camps were approaching, so the combine in Richmond was very critical for us,” said Dean Huff, Nic’s father.
It was a letter signifying that Nic was one of the top senior recruits who competed in combines at various NFL stadiums or other training sites across the country, along with other highly rated prospects. The Blue-Grey All-Americans represented 22 eastern states and 17 western states.
The letter also reminded Nic not to take his selection lightly, as he was selected out of 6,750 contenders who had also just like him competed at their regionals or were nominated by the staff, and that he had earned the right to bear the colors of the Blue-Grey.
Huff’s trip to Jacksonville consisted of three days at EverBank Stadium. Day one started off with early morning registration, practice and media night. Day two held the All-American Bowl Jersey Presentation, practice and the formal banquet. The final day held team meetings, a walk-through and the game at 1 p.m.
“It was awesome,” said Dean Huff. “There were some great kids out there, some very polite kids that Nic was able to meet. I bragged to many of the coaches about how they presented themselves.”
“The staff and coaches were tremendous. Blue-Grey’s motto is “For The Kids,” and they really lived up to it. It was a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to learn from,” said Nic.
“It was such a neat experience. Nic was able to compete with talent from many different levels, ranging from Division I to NAIA and Juco,” said North Surry Head Coach Danny Lyons. “It was awesome to see him at the banquet dinner walk across the stage with his name and hometown announced. It was good that Nic arrived and was roomed with three other players that he didn’t know. These players were given pretty much an NFL experience, as they practiced and played at NFL venues and facilities.”
Some of the players invited to the game had already received a college scholarship or scholarships, but for many, this was one of their last shots at impressing various scouts and programs, one last chance in hopes of adding their name on another roster in the fall.
Head Coach Lyons asserted that Nic represented North Surry in a good way, and that this gave him some added options for his future with football.
“It was awesome to see one of our very own suit up and compete in an NFL stadium and up against elite competition. Nic was able to hold his own and that certainly made it better,” he said.
“To me, it was the last time wearing a ‘high-school’ jersey and another step to have a future playing football,” said Nic Huff.
In Saturday’s game, Nic was in on six total tackles, three of which were solo. The highlight of his performance may have been a quarterback-hurry, which then led to a near-interception for his Grey squad.
In Huff’s senior season for the Greyhounds, he averaged 7.5 tackles in the 11 games he competed in, and of his 78 total tackles, 54 were marked as solo.