College football all-stars soar at MCAS Miramar
By MCRC Public Affairs
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | January 27, 2003
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosted the annual College Football All-Star Challenge that aired nationally on the Fox network on Super Bowl Sunday. More than 1,500 Marines and their families turned out to watch the event that brought together eight top college football players, including Heisman trophy candidates.
During the one-hour program, The Climb, the Corps' recruiting commercial, aired several times. In addition, short videos that showed activities from the air station as well as Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego were featured.
"The event was a win-win for everyone," said Major Dave Griesmer, Public Affairs Officer for Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, Va. "Fox television was able to host the event at a world class facility for little cost while the Marine Corps was able to use the event to help build awareness about opportunities in the Marine Corps."
The All-Star Challenge consisted of four events, an aerial assault, an obstacle rush, a long throw, and a quick delivery event. The four, two-man teams included Iowa's Brad Banks and Michigan State's Charles Rogers; Washington State's Jason Gesser and Notre Dame's Arnaz Battle; Florida's Rex Grossman and Taylor Jacobs; Miami's Ken Dorsey and Illinois' Brandon Lloyd. While the scoring was very close, the team of Dorsey and Lloyd won the competition. Most experts believe all eight of the players will be drafted in the first several rounds in the upcoming NFL draft.
Major General Chris Cortez, Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, began the event by announcing the team pairings and wishing the players good luck. He noted that while the players may have been competitors during the regular season, today they would be teammates.
"Today is a great day for everyone involved and the Marine Corps is proud to be associated with this event," said Cortez. "It's great to see so many talented football players here for a skills competition. For players to have reached this level, they've had to demonstrate a high level of discipline, dedication and teamwork, the same things we look for from the men and women in the Marine Corps, so we think this is a good match here today."
For the Marines and families in attendance, the event provided a nice break from deployment preparations.
"Marines thrive on competition," said Capt. Allen Porter, an F/A 18 pilot with VMFA(AW)-121 and spectator for the event. "We know, and respect, the level of training and preparation that one must complete to be able to compete and win in their chosen profession. It helps Marines to realize that our training and proficiency will make us successful on the field of battle."
Other highlights of the event included a special appearance by members of the San Diego Charger Cheerleaders and the antics of "Monty the Grizzly," the University of Montana mascot. At the conclusion of the event, Marines and fans were able to get autographs and have their picture taken with the college athletes.