Strathmore High School football standout Jadon Guire, a Porterville resident, made quite an impression Saturday at the statewide California Showcase prep combine in Southern California.
The one-day free event, held at a 688-acre sports complex on the former site of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, is for high school seniors passed over by Division I schools. There were 56 lower division four-year colleges from throughout the nation represented at Saturday’s combine, which drew 367 high school seniors hoping to continue their football careers at the next level.
There is no doubt Guire will have his pick of opportunities, as he drew praise from all quarters.
California Showcase, now in its seventh year, is spearheaded by legendary University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) coach Terry Donahue, who has more conference wins (98) than any other Pacific-12 coach in history, and his younger brother Pat.
Of Guire, Terry Donahue said, “He’s definitely a four-year college player. Heck, if I was still coaching at UCLA, I’d recruit him.”
Guire, who plans to play linebacker in college, was a three-time offensive and defensive lineman of the year for Strathmore and varsity captain for three years. He was also a three-time all-county first team player and the anchor of the 2017 state champion Spartans’ team.
The site of Saturday’s combine was not far from the high school stadium where Strathmore defeated Orange High, 31-29, to wrap up its state championship and a 16-0 season.
Guire said that of the schools represented Saturday, Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., rank high on his list. So does Azusa Pacific, a Christian college located east of Pasadena. Although Azusa Pacific did not send any coaches to this Showcase, Pat Donahue offered to help Guire make connections with that school as he handed Guire his business card.
Some 100 volunteer “staff coaches” work California Showcase, running three-hour morning drill sessions, which are followed by afternoon meet-and-greets with the college coaches. Many of the staff coaches have played in the NFL. One Guire met was Visalia’s Michael Young, a former Mt. Whitney High and UCLA receiver who played 10 years in the NFL. Young led the Denver Broncos in receiving in 1991.
After the combine was over, Guire and his parents, Al and Melissa, went back to their hotel in Irvine. They planned to do some late-afternoon sightseeing.
“Before that, I need a nap,” Guire told his parents.
It indeed had been a tiring day – but also a very good day.