Eugene, Ore. -- As Oregon and Oregon State football players prepare to return to voluntary workouts, high school football players are still looking for ways to be noticed by colleges after a spring without visits or camps.
Enter former Oregon Duck Lavasier Tuinei.
Tuinei, who played in two Rose Bowls (one in which he was named the MVP of the game) and one national championship, spent some time in the local coaching ranks at Churchill High School. But he found his calling with the MVP Performance Center, a training center for high school football players across the state and beyond.
"With the quarantine and colleges not accepting any kids on any visits," says Tuinei. "We're trying to give kids upper hands on the recruiting process."
"I always wanted to help out kids and when it comes to the training part it's needed in this community right here."
Coronavirus changed many aspects of this recruiting cycle in football, with coaches cancelling in-home visits, players having to cancel visits to colleges and a host of other unintended consequences. 7 on 7 tournaments, camps, combines and other offseason events that typically help recruits without a lot of game film get noticed were cancelled as well.
But with Lane County entering Phase II, Tuinei and MVP decided they would do something for athletes that were interested: hold a combine. All of the typical drills associated with combines, such as the 40 yard dash, which will be videoed by a team so players can have tape to send to coaches. Then, the players will split up into position groups.
"O-Line, D-Line we have receivers,tight ends, quarterbacks and when we have the film crew there we're gonna try to capture every movement with these kids so coaches can see how well they can move."
And it's not just restricted to Oregon kids. Players from all over the region will be in attendance, as will several high profile coaches and former college players.
"We got kids from Idaho, Montana, Washington, all over California, we got kids from Texas," Tuinei explains. "So it's really branching out to out of state."
Even with the fluidity of the situation in the last three months, Tuinei and MVP are hoping that even something like this can give kids a chance at the next level.
"Any opportunity that these kids have to get ahead of the game when it comes to recruiting is pretty crucial so anything they can possible get involved in...this is great."