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The Sunshine Showcase: A player’s perspective

An inside look at Florida State’s Mega Camp

Cornerback Alexander Ford and FSU defensive analyst Randy Shannon
@alexanderford_ Twitter

The Coach Mike Norvell Football Camp summer series kicked off with the Sunshine Showcase. A mega camp with over 50 college programs represented and over 1,000 high school participants. From all indications, it was a smashing success. Tomahawk Nation caught up with one of the high school players who participated at the camp.

Alexander Ford, a defensive back from Father Ryan High School in Nashville, TN, may not show up in any top lists yet, but he’s hoping camps like this will allow him the opportunity to showcase his skills. He recently participated in the NCEC Nashville Combine where he tested in the 4.4 range for his 40 time and “dominated during position drills and 1 on 1’s.”

But the Sunshine showcase was different. Ford called the event “mind-blowing” when describing the atmosphere of having so many coaches available to give coaching and direction. “You don’t get this opportunity a lot, so you have to make the most of it.” One of the main differences? “It’s a different talent pool, you know what I mean? You gotta adapt to it. You don’t normally get this type of athletes, so you gotta really put your mind to it.”

Tomahawk Nation asked Ford how the process was handled with so many players on campus.

The check in was a quick process more of like a get in and get out. While we was waiting to check in we got to see the field. They set up the reps in stations and we moved at a very quick pace.

I feel like the staff was very efficient at getting the players checked in because they monitored the amount of people that were going in and stuff like that so that it wasn’t clustered.“

Ford then provided more detail on the drills and sessions and if the coaches handled the coaching from a group level or provided individual feedback:

We had some good one on one interaction with the coaches when they were giving the drill instructions and when they were talking to players when they messed up.

They had us do 6 different drills and a 40 test.”

One of the unique aspects to this camp was the number of other programs and coaches that attended the event. We asked Ford what types of interactions these coaches provided:

The coaches from the other programs were actually doing some of our drills. They were very interactive because of that. If they wanted to get in contact with you they would write your number down or they would come and talk to you.

As far as Ford himself, what type of feedback did he receive from the coaches?

The feedback that I received from multiple coaches was great. They said that they liked my size and my hips and how I moved.”

Ford and teammates made it into Tallahassee on Saturday and had the opportunity to explore the campus. They were able to see the locker rooms, stadiums, and other amenities. But outside the camp, the two areas that most stood out?

Inside the stadium” when referring to the best part of Florida State’s campus. And also “hanging with the guys”. Ford indicated that during the sessions, FSU players were on site and spent time with them.

Ford and his Father Ryan teammates drove nine hours to be at the event. When asked was it worth it? Ford, without hesitation, responded “Absolutely!”

We appreciate Alexander Ford for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s take a minute and give you some information about the 2022 recruit.

Ford is listed at 6’0, 178 pounds and plays for Father Ryan High School. Ford and his team are part of the TSSAA Division II and according to Ford, it’s one of the “toughest divisions in Tennessee.” Opponents recognized Ford’s abilities last season as he was thrown at less than 15 times the entire year, which resulted in 8 pass break ups and 1 interception.

Ford feels his best skill is “understanding the game of football and understanding like play calling… I would also say my other best skill would be my technique and that would be because I pride myself on that.”

Currently Ford has offers from Tulane and Marshall. But the hope for Ford and thousands of other recruits this weekend is that the opportunity the Sunshine Showcase provided will open doors and help shape their college future.