Recruiting: First ever “Show Days” a huge success around Massachusetts

Tuesday afternoon and evening was a big step forward in the recruiting process for local players.

Avon Old Farms head coach Jon Wholley and other local coaches in Connecticut & Massachusetts set up “Show Days” on Monday & Tuesday around both states in an effort to continue improving on the lack of a true “spring ball” format in the region. Dozens of college coaches from around the country at all three levels were in attendance at these Pro Day-style events that each ran about an hour with offensive & defensive line drills, as well as offensive skill player drills & DB drills.

Here’s what stood out at a few locations on Tuesday:

BB&N:

The Knights hosted the final stop of the day with over 30 coaches from Division 1, 2 & 3 on hand. BB&N had 21 athletes ranging from Class of 2023 to Class of 2026 participating.

“It definitely took a lot of work, calling a lot of coaches & getting the word out on it,” said BB&N head coach Mike Willey. “Once they knew our guys were working out they were excited to come. A lot of logistics, but thankfully there was a lot of interest. We really appreciate these coaches coming out.”

As they have been regularly in The League on Sunday’s, Bo MacCormack, Isaiah Kacyvenski & Vince Snoonian all stood out. MacCormack put on an individual performance at the tail end of the night with a few running back drills and continued to display his quickness.

Both Snoonian & Kacyvenski have smooth route running abilities and soft hands. A few others that stood out with similar qualities were Tyler Robbins (23’) and Jack Kelley (24’).

“When I first heard about (the Show Days) I thought it was a great opportunity for our guys to get noticed,” said Kacyvenski. “A lot of coaches turned out, it was a great event.”

Thayer:

Five star recruit Samson Okunlola (23’) was the main attraction. Okunlola has offers from all the top Power 5 programs in the country. Offensive line and position coaches from across the country were there to see Okunlola including Boston College defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu and defensive line coach Vince Oghobaase.

Afterwards, Okunlola was pleased with the way his Show Day workout went. “It was a good performance. Showed off my flexibility, my quickness and some good body control.”

Samson Okunlola during his drill period on Tuesday.

Several other Thayer players worked out as well. Quarterback Grady Russo (23’) looked sharp. He threw the ball from within the pocket and on the run. Coach Jeff Toussaint made it a point to talk about how Russo has bulked up this off season.

Russo will have plenty of skill to throw to. Athlete Gibson Akoh (23’) looked twitchy and explosive with the ball in his hands. Wide receiver Jaeden Simpkins (23’) has good size at 6-2 180. He runs good routes and has the ability to elevate and high point the ball in jump ball situations.running back Nate-Austin Johnstone (24’) and tight end Harry Salters (24’) were also impressive.

Milton Academy:

The Mustangs have one of the most talented skill groups returning in the ISL and in NEPSAC Football. Tight end Andrew Rappleyea, (23’) a Penn State commit looks the part. Talk, lean and fluid, Rappleyea has the size and skill set to develop into an elite level tight end in any personnel grouping.

Rappleyea isn’t the only tight end on the roster size and skill. Coach Kevin McDonald could give defenses fits if he brought Jack Crowley (23’) and Will Grant (24’) into the game in 13 personnel. Both run well, have clean hands and can win one on one.

Andrew Rappleyea high points the ball in an impressive workout.

Quarterback Jake Holtschlag threw the ball well but the wind was a factor on a couple of his throws. He showed good touch and accuracy on his deep ball. 2026 quarterback Qu’ran Mcniel certainly looks the part physically. He is young and will need to develop obviously. Athlete Keith Nally (24’) has bulked up and he ran well in space. He looked shifty as well after the catch.

Upfront,2023 Ryan McGurn and 2024 guard Brady Earle moved well in drills and impressed with their get off. The Mustangs like to pound the ball so they will be physical.

Overall, it was a great two days for recruiting prospects in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Show Days concept is tremendous. Kudos to Coach Wholley for coming up with the concept.