Massachusetts Showcase Day — St. Sebastian’s

NEEDHAM — There was a time not too long ago where football recruiting for New England was, nationally, a little off the radar, off the beaten path.

But as evidenced by the last two days of the New England Showcase, and Tuesday at St. Sebastian’s, those days are over.

At St. Seb’s, Power Five coaches from every conference came to see players go through drills. There were roughly 50 or more coaches there, from every college football division.

No, Massachusetts does not have spring football. But if this week has been any indication, you’re not seeing players fall through the cracks. Coaches have their eyes on the kids here, and there are tons of opportunities.

St. Seb’s coach Dan Burke was asked if there have ever been this many coaches at any single spring event in Massachusetts.

“No, never,” Burke said. “We’ve always had good traffic through in the spring, but this is the first time we’ve ever hosted one of these showcases. A lot of the guys should be able to come out to come and see our guys compete. It’s a pretty cool new opportunity that we have. The Connecticut boarding schools got it started with their day, and Massachusetts was able to follow suit. We were happy to be part of the mix and get a lot of our guys good exposure.”

In regards to players maybe not getting an opportunity to be seen, that happens less and less. Massachusetts isn’t a layover, it’s a destination for college coaches.

“No one slips through the cracks,” Burke said. “Ultimately, this is a good opportunity to get some good exposure for the guys. Ultimately, it will still come don to how the guys play in the season and how good their film is. It’s good for coaches to see how they move, how they work, get the eyeballs on them so when next year’s film comes out, it’s even more helpful.”

Before the event, Burke said the college coaches were looking forward to it.

“They love it. They’re excited,” Burke said. “They don’t have to hit up every school. It’s a long day for them. But for us to give them the opportunity to hit up every school in one day, they’re really excited about it.”

We spoke on the phone with Boston College Director of Football Recruiting Jason Tudryn and UConn offensive coordinator Nick Charlton.

Tudryn said events like this help get more accurate evaluations.

“It’s hard to (miss on a player that is deserving). You can always miss, obviously, but I think it’s harder,” Tudryn said. “If you’re putting the time in, and you’re putting good evaluations in, there’s a ton of kids to be seen.”

Said Charlton: “I think it’s definitely different to this region. . . . I think for places that don’t have spring ball, it’s a real opportunity for guys to see these players. I think geographically, this region, people are starting to come up and see how these kids are, and come up and physically see them. I do think it’s specific to New England right now. I think it gives us a little bit of a niche that they can help get these guys out. Nationally, it helps.”

One of the premier players at the event was class of 2026 offensive tackle prospect Marky Walbridge. The 6-foot-6, 285-pounder is athletic and already holds major offers. He was pleased with how the day went.

“It was fun, really,” Walbridge said. “It was great to see the coaches come out and evaluate the team. It was fun, though.”