We looked at why making a trip to Collier County could mean a better chance at a football career.
Twins Jordan and Jalen Lane have played football since they were both five years old.
“This is something that they’ve been very passionate about,” said Larry Ford, the Lane brothers’ father.
Jordan and Jalen are now both 12 years old. We asked Jordan what his drives and passion to develop as a football player is. So what is it? “The excitement,” he said.
And the young footballers’ excitement grows as the opportunity of a lifetime approaches — the chance to travel almost 1,500 miles from Oklahoma City to the annual Football University Top Gun Showcase in Collier County.
“This definitely increases their opportunity to get to do something they love on the collegiate level,” Ford said.
But, amid the pandemic and during a time when parts of Collier County are a hot spot, the event looks a bit different.
“We’ll follow all the CDC guidelines,” said Steven Quinn, the FBU president. “The state right now says we can do sports training camps.”
Ahead of the event, FBU released a list of protocols to protect players. They include mandatory masks and gloves for volunteers and staff, social distancing for all attendees and a ban on handshakes, high fives and any other form of contact.
FBU also requires parents to sign a COVID-19 waiver, acknowledging that, despite protocols in place, taking kids to the showcase is a risk.
That risk is worth it for Ford and his boys.
“We think it’s very important to continue on and go on with life,” Ford said. “This is something they worked very hard for receiving the invitation, so we want to give them the ability to compete with what they worked for.”
Event organizers say, while hundreds of kids are expected at the event, which starts Friday, they’ll be broken up into smaller groups of 50.
And after all the hard work, the twins are ready.
“Just to show up and show out,” Jordan said