2021 FAF D3 Senior Classic Overview
Saturday December 4th, 12:30pm Kickoff!
Faller Field, Middletown, NY
Going into its 13th year, this game has been highly successful and is undoubtedly the premier post-season honorary showcase opportunity for all of Division 3 (D3) Football. It has attracted the best football players D3 has to offer for the past 10 years, boasting rosters that are consistently comprised of 64% All-Americans, All-Region and All-Conference players from all over the Country.
See reference: FAF 2019 D3 Pre-Season Senior All-American Selections
For the past few years the FAF D3 Senior Classic has been played in Myrtle Beach, SC as home venue for the SOUTH. In 2021, the event has rotated to be played in the NORTH home venue at Faller Field in Middletown, New York.
D3 Senior Classic Player Selections
This event is by invite only. The D3 Selection Committee undergoes a rigorous 18-month long scouting process that concludes around mid-September, about 8 weeks from the event. Players are selected through the compiling and sorting of player data; including by not limited to:
- Coaches nominations
- NCAA stat leader boards
- Peer nominations
- FreeAgentFootball.com (FAF) Selections data
- Film review
- Live scouting
After the culmination of this process, individual invite letters are sent directly to the player's head coach. Only a few invites are sent per position and are filled by a first-registered basis. If a position cannot be filled by one of the first three invites sent, then the Selections Committee moves down its list and will send another couple invites until the position is filled.
After approximately 40 players per-team are registered, they are placed on either Team NORTH or Team SOUTH based on their geographical location.
The FAF D2 Senior Challenge conducts a rigorous interviewing process that begins twelve months before the event. The founders take this selection very seriously because they understand the impact that coaching has on the quality of the product that is put out on the field.
The athletes have worked very hard to be in this Showcase. They're coming to compete at the highest level they can to be honored, acquire quality film and network effectively. They rely on their coaches to put them in the best situation possible to highlight their skills and showcase their abilities to larger audience than they've had in the past.
Basic requirements to coach in the Challenge include:
- Must be an active, full coaching staff (typically on the D2 or Pro Levels)
- Must have a minimum of five years coaching collegiate football
- Must have a minimum of coaching in two all-star/scout bowl events
- Must demonstrate the understanding that the Senior Bowl is about the PLAYERS and sign an Agreement stating such.
The event is a full-contact, 15-minute quarter football game with modified special teams. It is officiated by Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Officials under a hybrid of U.S. Collegiate and NFL rules. This "All-Star type" format has been perfected from over 10 years of experience in hosting and executing games like this. It has been specifically designed to spotlight talent, promote key matchups and maximize the exposure of its players.
After the first CDFL season in 2009, the college coaches were showing their support with increasing interest in the league’s ability to recruit quality talent and fulfill needs within the country’s football scouting landscape in general. It was then that the founders decided to broaden the scope of their services by looking to provide more opportunity for small college player’s to gain exposure to the pro scouts.
The first thing that the founders noticed was that there was not a dedicated post-season all-star game for the DIII players. This level was in desperate need of a game where the nation’s best players and top DIII pro prospects could come together for an exclusive chance to play each other in a North vs. South All-Star format.
This game quickly peaked the interest of the football world because of its intriguing matchups and spotlight on this underrated level. Players, coaches and fans from across the country shared their enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity to promote the talent in D3 football. In its first year in 2009, the game was played in Salem, Virginia just before the Stagg Bowl. It was broadcast live on NBC. Since 2009, the event has grown tremendously and is now played in Myrtle Beach, SC in conjunction with the FAF International Scouting Showcase's (FAFISS) three (3) other Bowl Games
Immediately following the game’s inauguration, it quickly became clear that both of these levels felt like they get overlooked or lost in the shuffle when it came to promoting the skill of their players to the pros. Eager to get a chance at national exposure, every year the D2 and NAIA players send in more applications then there are roster spots available. Since the FreeAgentFootball.com (FAF) leaves no player behind with the “second chance to make a first impression” mantra, the Event's front office personnel work very hard to get these players onto a professional roster somewhere in the world following the game.
2018 will mark the first year that D2 will have an event that is all their own, exclusive to their level. The game's popularity combined with the ever increasing amount of D2 talent and professional playing opportunities has prompted FAF to add this special event to the 2018 Showcase!