ETSN & APEC combine brings out the best in East Texas -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETSN & APEC combine brings out the best in East Texas

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They're some of the best football players in East Texas.  Sunday morning, 115 players  came to Tyler chasing a dream.

"Hopefully at the end of this I'll have a couple of colleges looking at me," said Nacogdoches Dragon Tae Thomas.

Lufkin's Brandon LaRue had bigger plans.

"My dream?" said LaRue.  "To play in the NFL."

First things first. Like being discovered. That's where the 2nd annual ETSN.FM and APEC Football Recruiting Combine hopes to help.

"We think a lot of times they (East Texas players) get overlooked by some of the kids in Dallas and Houston and the bigger areas in the state," said reporter Clint Buckley.  "This gives them an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a larger audience."

From 40 times, to bench press, these future juniors and seniors are put to the test at APEC.  With several national recruiting services in attendance, every second, every inch can count.

"You run a a good time, you know a coach is looking at you," said Nacogdoches receiver Ken Rogers.  "If you don't do so good you have to go out there and compete."

"I was really excited to get numbers on paper," said Thomas. "Give it my all and hopefully catch some eyes of college coaches."

Many of the athletes called it honor just to be inviting. Knowing one jump, one sprint, one pass could change their future.

"I'm thankful because without this I wouldn't be as recognized," said Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown.  McCown was named the combine's offensive MVP.

"It's a blessing, it's a great honor to me," said Tatum's Martin Ingram.  "Coming out here competing with other guys and seeing who you're up against going into the fall. It's a great experience."

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