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April 30, 2014

Roman's Soldiers Showcases invades New York

After its third successful edition in New Jersey in late March, the Roman's Soldiers Showcase moved across state lines into the Bronx last weekend.

The event, hosted by former NFL lineman Roman Oben, featured a host of talented underclassmen from throughout the city, and the instruction of several top coaches from New Jersey.

It was held at Mount St. Michael's Academy in the Bronx, home of one of the top Parochial schools in the city.

"This was my first time in a New York borough and I was pleased overall with the quality of the event," Oben said. "As the showcase approach gains more credibility with the Bronx & Weschester area coaches and players, I know we'll do even greater numbers than the New Jersey showcase.

"Bottom line for these kids will be the size, range, and projected potential that determines where they play in college but I didn't want lack of exposure to be a factor"

The top overall performer from the event was Mount St. Michael's RB/Slot Aaron Viltres, a veteran of the Roman's Soldiers' New Jersey events. Viltres lacks typical size but is speedy and shifty, and has earned camp invites from several Division 1-AA programs this summer.

"I've seen Aaron get better each year," Oben said. "He's undersized but makes up for it with speed and tenacity. He didn't drop a ball all day and ran a 10.9 100 Meters at Penn Relays the day before and sill came ready to perform."

Some other junior standouts included:

Julian DeLeon - OL/DL
Carl Hoyte - WR -
Julian Messiah-Larkin - WR
Anthony Martinez - LB
Jahmari Gordon - CB

The event's top sophomore was DL Teomar Fisher, who already weighs 280 pounds and has next-level potential. Freshmen to watch were RB Taylor Douglas and QB Freddy Familia.

"New York city high school football players are typically raw, but talented athletically," Oben said. "Sometimes other factors like facilities and ability to train in the off-season plays a role but the upside is always good. College coaches know what they're getting with New York City kids and that's a good thing."


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