“We gotta put on a show”: NAIA players hope to impress NFL scouts in Senior Football Classic


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Some of the top football players in the NAIA are in Savannah to wrap up their college careers and catch the eyes of NFL scouts.

The inaugural NAIA Senior Football Classic, organized by the Savannah Sports Council, kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

“Sometimes I feel like we are overlooked because we are in a smaller league,” East Squad running back Telvin Rucker said. “I feel like this gives us a chance to show that we have competition here. I was thrilled [to be invited], my mom was thrilled and my dad was thrilled.”

Rucker’s parents are making the 12-14 hour trip up to Savannah from Tennesse to watch what could be the last time he puts on the pads.

“There’s been fans that drove a long way to see us,” Rucker added with a smile. “I feel like we gotta put on a show.”

Rucker and company aren’t just trying to make an impression with the fans. A handful of NFL scouts were at Thursday’s practice and will be in attendance Saturday. Despite being a lesser-known football division, handfuls of players from the NAIA have made it into the NFL.

“You can watch Sunday Night Football on NBC and say ‘Where in God’s name is that?’,” Mathis explained. “If you are good enough, you are good enough and they will find you.”

The NAIA Senior Football Classic will be broadcast on WSAV-CW. Sports director Greg Talbott will be on the call with sports reporter Connor DelPrete and ESPN Coastal’s P.J. Zucco.

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