For this week’s column, MWCConnection caught up with Sean Ceglinsky, the Blue-Grey Football Player Personnel Director since 2014. He has a deep background as a talent evaluator at the high school level, with stops at the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, ESPN, 247Sports, and CBS Sports.
Mountain West Conference Players:
Air Force: LB Carson Pearlman, RB Tevin McDaniel, OL Zach Lyle, DB Chandler Claterbaugh, DL John Chiaramonte, P Jake Bovard, QB Beau English, WR Amari Terry, WR David Cormier, DB Tre Bugg, P William Broadus, RB Tyler Brown, RB Caleb Gerber, DB Gaetan Louissaint
Boise State: QB Brett Rypien, QB Chase Cord, WR Shea Whiting, OL Jacob Golden, TE Austin Bolt
Colorado State: QB Coleman Key, LB Josh Watson, OL Luis Lebron, P Ryan Stonehouse, DL DeOnte Washington, WR Duante Davis
Fresno State: DB Ryan Alvarez
Hawaii: WR Devan Stubblefield, OL Ramsey Aviu, LB Jeremiah Pritchard, QB Zach Daniel, DB Ty Marsh
Nevada: DB Malcom Lee, LB Cross Poyer, DB Emany Johnson, DB Crishaun Lappin, RB Ty Collins, OL Dominic Eldridge
New Mexico: WR Anselem Umeh
SDSU: OL Dominic Gudino, DL Keshawn Banks
SJSU: DB Chandler Hawkins, TE Nico Lima, OL Dominic Fredrickson, DB Evan Michalet, DB Tre White
UNLV: DL Roger Mann, DL Jason Davis, QB Jack Alexander
Utah State: OL William Auwae, DB Deante Fortenberry, RB Morian Walker, DB Braxton Gunther, DL Noah Kramer, QB Cooper Legas, OL Sonny Makasini
Wyoming: DL Riley Stringer, RB Mike Green
MWCConnection: Can you provide some background on the Blue-Grey Bowl? (How long has it been around, how did it get started, and so on).
Sean Ceglinsky: The first game featured players in the Class of 2013, took place at Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium, was broadcast on Fox Sports, and NFL veteran, Super Bowl Champion with Kansas City Chiefs Byron Pringle was Offensive MVP in a 21-14 victory for South over North. The next year, NFL veteran, Super Bowl Champion with Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes participated in All-American Bowl Weekend despite a relatively harmless injury. as West defeated East 41-7 at Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Other notable past particpants who have gone to play college ball before the NFL, all of whom are still currently James Robinson, Julian Love, Troy Pride, J.J. Taylor, Madre Harper, Artavis Pierce (use this link for info about the games each year https://bluegreyfootball.com/all-american-bowl-history/). Also, there is a tab on the site for yearly alumni (https://bluegreyfootball.com/).
MWCConnection: What is the selection process for getting players involved in the game?
Sean Ceglinsky: We do a circuit of All-American Combines during Feb till July (https://bluegreyfootball.com/blue-grey-all-american-combine-schedule-announcement-2021/), where we scout talent for the All-American Bowl at end of each year (https://bluegreyfootball.com/blue-grey-american-bowl-closer-look/). Those players have a chance to receive an invite to the game. Or, we’ll handpick some high-profile players who didn’t go to combine but are worthy of playing on the big stage.
MWCConnection: How have you secured NFL alumni support and sponsorship over the years?
Sean Ceglinsky: We have a bunch of former NFL guys on staff who work the All-American Bowl every year (https://bluegreyfootball.com/nfl-coaches-and-current-staff/). We have a few partners and sponsors, but not anything major (https://bluegreyfootball.com/partners-and-sponsors/).
MWCConnection: What does your typical day look like in the days and weeks leading up to the game?
Sean Ceglinsky: Lots of planning, booking hotels and flights for coaches, connecting with families to properly time their arrivals in different cities for All-American Bowl Weekend (typically, there are two practices prior to the game, a Media Night and Jersey Presentation, at times Formal Banquet, with the finale of the three-day weekend being the game itself.)
MWCConnection: What does your time look like in the summer and fall?
Sean Ceglinsky: February until July is for combines, as discussed above. September until November is for Jersey Presentations at local high schools all over the country. December and January we play the All-American Bowl.
MWCConnection: Of course, no interview would be complete without asking how the pandemic has impacted the game this year?
Sean Ceglinsky: There have been a lot of protocols to follow to keep players and families safe, our staff too. That’s included advanced screening, temperature tests and Covid-19 tests at all events. Everyone’s health is more important than playing the bowl.
MWCConnection: Going forward, what are your goals or next steps for this event?
Sean Ceglinsky: Over the past four years, we secured a contract with ESPN family of networks to cover the All-American Bowl. The next order of business is to secure a bowl sponsor.
Thanks to Sean for taking the time out of his busy schedule and for his continued work in helping high school players get the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete against one another.