While taking part in summer combines (i.e., specialized football camps) isn’t unusual, getting a chance to turn an open combine into a something bigger is a rare chance. Brookfield standout senior JJ Abongo heads to Las Vegas this weekend to take part in the Blue-Grey Classic.
Abongo earned this chance by excelling at a combine earlier this summer in St. Joseph. Abongo is a multi-time Sportswriters and Coaches All-District and Clarence Cannon All-Conference football selection.
“It was a good combine,” said Abongo of the qualifying event. “I was more excited for prom that night to be honest, but it was a good experience. I had attended it last season as well, but wasn’t invited to go on.”
The combine in St. Joesph was not limited to the local area. Abongo noted that the competition at the combine was intense.
“There was quite a bit of competition, and a lot of schools there,” said Abongo. “All classes from different states were represented. There were people from Nebraska and Illinois, and all over the midwest there.”
So with the trip to Vegas this weekend, Abongo will participate in an event that saw 151 of 170 participants last year go on to play college football. If he moves on from this combine, he will have a chance to play in one of two high school Blue-Grey games. These games would both be at NFL stadiums (Tampa Bay or Dallas).
“I had been to Las Vegan when I was younger,” said Abongo. “I am looking forward to going back; its going to be pretty fun.”
Abongo hopes that this combine will lead to a scholarship, and perhaps a destination even further down the road.
“I am thinking that I want to play college football,” said Abongo. “It has been a dream since I was a little kid to play in the NFL, and I would love to make that dream come true.”
But, of course, Abongo still has this current season to go. If he moves on from there, college will precede a shot at the NFL. Abongo understands this, and hasn’t even figured out what he wants to study as of the writing of this article.
“I am not sure what I want to study yet,” said Abongo of his college plans. “It might be physical therapy, but I have thought about becoming a football or wrestling coach. I’m not sure, still.”