On December 15th, football players from around the country gathered at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, to perform a variety of NFL-style workouts based on position. The event, known as Futures Camp by HUB Football, is designed to be a unique experience for free agents hoping to find another team. There were several scouts and journalists watching from the sidelines, which included myself.
After a few hours, I compiled a list of the best performers from the day. Although everyone in attendance had talent, the players mentioned here demonstrated great athleticism and/or ability to make big plays. This article is designed to give them recognition, recognition that they continue to work hard for.
Corey Straughter, CB, Louisiana-Monroe
Straughter is a young player destined to have a productive career. He spent four years as a ULM Warhawk, and was one of the best players on the team. From 2017 to 2020, he recorded 76 tackles, 20 pass deflections, 9 interceptions, and 2 defensive touchdowns. In 2021, he was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. Straughter saw some playing time during the preseason, but failed to make the active roster or practice squad.
Heading into 2022, Straughter is looking to give himself an opportunity with another team, and perhaps get more playing time in a meaningful role. During the HUB camp, he had two pass breakups that were created through tight coverage. This ability to generate stops against good receivers is exactly what defenses want, and only deepens the mystery of why Straughter remains unsigned. The bottom line is that Straughter is ready for the pros, and will have success wherever he ends up.
Lawrence Woods III, CB, Truman State
Just like Straughter, Woods deserves to be on a professional roster immediately. The Missouri native has an interesting story, as he only played two years of high school football. Woods ended up at a Division II program (Truman State), where he became one of the best kick returners in the nation. In 2018, he won the GLVC Special Teams Player of the Year award after returning four kickoffs for touchdowns.
Woods missed his senior season due to an ACL injury, but had performed well enough in years past to earn himself an NFL opportunity. He signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2021, and although he didn’t last into the regular season, Woods defied odds that even most DII athletes don’t face. Given that a majority of players begin their careers with a special teams role, Woods has already excelled at that, which means he can spend more time focusing on defense.
Any team that signs Woods is getting a two-way player, and like I’ve said before, versatility is becoming more important in the modern football world.
Donovan Glave, DT, McMaster
Glave played U Sports football at Hamilton’s McMaster University, located in the Canadian province of Ontario. Since scouts don’t usually go outside of the United States, the foreign players themselves have to create their own opportunity.
Glave deserves the spotlight for doing just that. He traveled to San Diego in hopes of increasing his shot at the pros, and is leading the way for many talented prospects up North (or around the world in general). Most of the athletes flew in from other states, but to cross borders during a pandemic is another level of dedication. Glave was one of the largest players in attendance at the HUB camp, and although it’s common to associate bigger size with less speed and agility, that doesn’t define Glave in the slightest.
A combination of physicality and quickness made Glave a fun player to watch during drills, and since I always forget how athletic defensive linemen can be, he was a pleasant surprise to say the least. With his background in mind, the CFL may be an intriguing option for Glave, and would create a feel-good story for all football fans to enjoy.
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