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Why 400-plus recruits fought for their football future three days after signing day – The Athletic

HOUSTON — For thousands of recruits across the country, Feb. 2 marked the end of their recruitment.

Prospects put pen to paper, signing their national letters of intent — if they hadn’t already done so during December’s early signing period — affirming their future college football home.

For countless others, like Dominick Martin of Yates High School in Houston, the first Wednesday in February in many ways marked the beginning of the process. That’s why, on Saturday, he joined 420 other high school seniors at the Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase, an annual event for unsigned recruits still hoping to fulfill their dreams of playing college football.

“I’ve been to a lot of camps,” Martin said Saturday, “but today felt like the last straw.”

Division I schools usually announce their finalized signing class in early February, but schools in the lower divisions are still looking for players. In this recruiting cycle, Feb. 2 is the start of the signing period for Division II schools, and prospects can sign all the way until Aug. 1.

That’s where an event like the Senior Showcase comes in. Launched in 2009 to give overlooked Houston-area recruits a shot at a college football future, the one-day camp has become an annual success that draws dozens of Division II, Division III and NAIA schools. Their athletic budgets — and thus, their recruiting budgets — are nowhere near that of a Power 5 program like Texas or Ohio State, so an event like these matters.

“It’s extremely valuable,” said Barry Derickson, head coach of Sul Ross State, a Division III program based in Alpine, Texas. “There’s a lot of talent here in Houston and a lot of guys that fit our type of profile. This is an important event, and we need to be here.”

The players come from a variety of situations.

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