Varsity Preps

Clear Vision Clear Dreams Camp a Success

West Palm Beach — I’ve been covering recruiting in South Florida for four years now, and in those four years, I’ve never attended a one-day camp like this, and won’t again until next summer.

The inaugural edition of the Clear Vision Clear Dreams Camp, held at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, drew prospects from Georgia to Miami and college coaches from all levels, including Wisconsin head coach Gary Anderson and assistants from the likes of Tennessee, Ohio St., Louisiana LafayetteFlorida AtlanticFlorida St. and Bethune Cookman. The camp provided an impressive cross-section of prospects and coaches, all gathered for the purpose of benefiting longtime Miami Herald high school athletics reporter Larry Blustein, and for players to gain powerful insight from professionals they could apply on the football field and in their daily lives.

Camp organizer Julie Corona established the “Remember the Children Foundation” in 2008 after her father, Gary Cogswell, died of a double lung transplant. Through the foundation, this was how she was able to bring awareness to Blustein’s condition to the forefront, bring players and college coaches together, and ultimately give back to her community. “This camp gave kids from all over the opportunity to be in front of college coaches and learn from the men that they want to become,” she said. “The kids heard from Coach Anderson, Ohio St. asst. head coach Everett Withers, ex-NFL and college coaches  Charlie Coiner and DJ McCarthy, ex-NFLer Derrick Crudup, Broward County Sheriff Scott IsrealCharles Ferguson and ex-athlete Bryan Horsford on making the right decisions, having character and the role it plays on and off-the-field, and becoming leaders in their community.”

Local high school football coaches also volunteered their time, including Miramar head coach Damon Cogdell, Spanish River head coach Bill CaesarHialeah offensive coordinator Dennis MarroquinBoyd Anderson head coach Rodney Gray, and many, many others. Corona spoke on the success of the first edition of the Clear Vision Clear Dreams camp. “I think we exceeded expectations,” she said. “I hope the kids walked away with the understanding of what college life is about, how important having character is, and the need to give back when someone is in need. In addition, some local players were offered by some of the programs in attendance.”

PROCEEDS to BENEFIT LARRY BLUSTEIN

Blustein is battling polycystic kindey disease (PKD), a degenerative, genetic condition that causes the kidneys to slowly shut shown, affecting approximately 12.5 million people worldwide. He’ll eventually be forced to require dialysis, a procedure that will only delay the inevitable need of a life saving kidney transplant.

On the job for 40 years, Blustein has helped spotlight athletes in the South Florida area and enabled many to be discovered by college programs and receive an education. His invaluable service was reciprocated Sunday by the tremendous turnout of players and coaches. “It’s crazy. A lot of folks came out just because, in support of something they most likely don’t fully understand and what needs to be done,” he said. “I saw Brandon Powell, a big time football talent committed to Tennessee, who doesn’t need to impress anybody, come out and support me. I really appreciate him. I saw the kids from Brooksville Nature CoastChristian Pellage and Rohan Blackwood, drive six hours to be here. The Miami Central kids, there’s a lot of people to be grateful for.”

Blustein, just in the last couple of months, has experienced a decline in the functionality of his kidneys, but somehow manages to stay on top of the demanding position of reporting on high school athletics. “I do it the same way I did it in 1970. Just this year, I flew to Mobile and drove to Pensacola and Gainesville, visited the west and east coasts of Florida, set up times to visit the players and coaches. Doing, seeing, then comparing, it’s the only way I know,” he said. “People don’t know really how much your kidneys affect your entire well-being, and now I have to know when to give and take. I do so many different things, all I can do is take one day at a time, and whatever the plan is, I have to accept that. But the circumstances can be overwhelming at times.”

CAMP STANDOUTS

Among the many benefits the Clear Vision Clear Dreams camp provided was the exposure of high school players to college coaches. Several prospects picked up new verbal offers and others performed well enough to gain serious interest from the programs in attendance. The following is a list of standouts and prospects that picked up new offers.

2014 QB Eugene SainterlingBoyd Anderson — Standing at 6’4, Sainterling impressed with his arm strength and accuracy. He doesn’t own any offers currently, but reports North TexasIndiana, and FAU are recruiting him. Picked up Tennessee interest by attending camp Sunday.

2014 QB Alex OgleJensen Beach — Looked sharp in every aspect of his game. Perhaps most impressive, he adjusted quickly throwing to receivers he’s never worked with before. Holds UMass offer, will visit a now interested Tennessee program later this week.

2014 RB Brandon PowellDeerfield Beach — Very impressive workout. Speedy back that remains solidly committed to UT.

2015 RB Alex AndersonMiramar — Big back, runs downhill and possesses great footwork. Offers from Boston CollegeUNCGeorgia TechNC St. and Wisconsin.

2015 WR/S Shawn Burgess-BeckerMonarch — Impressive athlete was offered by Wisconsin and Ohio St. is interested.

2014 WR Kenneth RawlsBlanche Ely — Florida Atlantic offered Sunday.

2014 CB Albert SmallsMonsignor Pace — Big corner offered by Louisiana Lafayette.

2014 S Andrew SorohAmerican — Is now receiving interest from Florida St. and Ohio St. Missed junior season, but his recruitment is starting to take shape.

2014 CB Malik KearseMonsignor Pace — Louisiana Lafeyette offered, now has Ohio St. interested. Under-the-radar corner that’s quickly making a name for himself.

2015 CB Max HowellPalm Beach Lakes — Picked up Wisconsin and Ohio St. offers.

2015 CB Ronnie HogginsMonarch — Offered by Wisconsin and ULLOhio St. now interested.

2015 CB Jeffrey HillMiramar — Interest now from Louisiana Lafayette and FSU.

2014 CB Chris MurphyLassiter (Ga.) — Verbally committed to Arkansas at camp.

2014 OL/DE Chris Gaynor & Bradley MullingsDouglas — Both linemen stood out in drills.

2014 DE Rohan BlackwoodNature Coast — Another talented lineman that shined in front of college of coaches.

To make a charitable donation to Gary Cogswell’s “Remember The Children” Foundation, Inc., please visit http://rtcfoundation.com/, email them [email protected], or call (954) 914-9168.

— Michael Bradley

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