Northlake Christian Senior Colby Thrasher receives invite to Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star Bowl Game

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Northlake Christian Senior Colby Thrasher receives invite to Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star Bowl Game

Colton Leggett, Editor-in-Chief

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Senior football player Colby Thrasher recently received an invite to play in the Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star Bowl Game. Louisiana Gridiron Football is an organization that is owned by Andrew Bryson, who also serves as its President.

Bryson discussed his process for evaluating and rating the players and how he decides on who to invite to play in the bowl. 

Being a prior college coach and recruiter, I have designed my own rating system. I rate every senior in the state of Louisiana and rank them by position. That is typically my April magazine. I rate guys based off their intangibles, not their production, so height, weight, speed, agility, how they move, how they use their hands, and so on. This method of evaluation has been very good in predicting how well an athlete can perform on the field, so when I select a player to play in my All-Star Bowl, I go off my evaluations, not off any other site,” he explained. 

Bryson gave insight on how Colby was rated and why he was invited.

“Guys like Colby Thrasher, who graded out as a 6.3 of 10, I invite to the bowl game. Colby graded out as a 6.3 because he has great size and explosion as a rush DE. He needs to get better with his hand work and upper body strength. Overall, though, he graded out as 3 star prospect. We have given him an opportunity to play in this year’s game, and he will be able to match up with some other “Big Fish” from other schools,” he noted. 

Bryson discussed where the idea for Louisiana Gridiron Football came from and how it all got started. 

He recounted, “When I was coaching at Southeastern, one of my duties was recruiting. I had just left LSU as an intern coach where I had worked for Sam Nader in recruiting. I saw that so many kids were being overlooked in Louisiana and some were being robbed by so called “scouts.” I spoke to coach Ron Roberts, head coach at Southeastern University (SLU), and Brandon Lacy, D-Line coach at SLU, about this idea and they both gave me ideas as to how I could help these kids. So, in 2014, I started Louisiana Gridiron Football (LGF). My first interview was with Dennis Dunn, then head coach at Louisiana College. I wanted to interview him since I did not know him at the time. I was making this venture, and since I knew everyone in the state at the DI level, I wanted to see how this would work with someone I did not know. When I first met Coach Dunn, he and his staff first thought I was a salesman, but soon learned that I was there just to ask the head coach a few questions on camera. The interview received over 1,000 views on our YouTube channel, and I just knew after that this could be big, and so I put it in God’s hands.”

Since its inception, Louisiana Gridiron Football has experienced tremendous growth and increased popularity. 

“Since 2014, I have built a successful monthly magazine that has 300,000 reads per month, a website that averages between 250,000-350,000 hits per month, a high school All-Star game, and I have helped over 1,500 young men get offers from colleges all over the country,” he said. 

Bryson explained why he has a bowl game and why he wanted to create one. 

“I have always wanted my own bowl game, so last year, after a lot of research, I started my own. I have seen over the years a lot of these so called “All-Star” or “All-American” games take money from kids and tell them that coaches would be at those games. In reality, NO DI OR DII COACH CAN BE AT A HIGH SCHOOL BOWL GAME! It is a major NCAA violation. So, I designed my game the same way the Chick-Fil-A Bowl was designed. That is the game LSU played in back in 2012 when I was on staff,” he elaborated. 

According to Bryson, participating in the bowl game has many benefits for the players. 

He expounded, “It is an opportunity for these young men to play in an exhibition match with the best from their senior class. I live stream the game via Facebook, then upload the game to YouTube, so I can send it to coaches since they cannot attend the game. I do invite DIII, NAIA, and JUCO coaches to attend the game and offer them time to speak to the coaches and players in the game.” 

For Bryson, the reason for doing what he does and his ultimate goal he hopes to accomplish with it all is bigger than football.

He explained, “Louisiana has more players in the NFL (per capita) than any other state. Louisiana also ranks number one (per capita) in most guys going to play DI football. With that said, Louisiana is an extremely talented state in football, but it can be better. One other statistic is that Louisiana is number one in incarceration, so I work to help these young men to give them a chance to do something with their lives other than the streets.  My ambition is that, as a Christian, we are called to be “fishers of men.” I work to help our kids because my mission is “To change one life is to change a community.” We don’t do this for the money, and we don’t charge the athletes. We only make our money by magazine sales, advertising/sponsorships, and gate sales at the bowl game.” 

The 2019 LGF Bowl Game will be held on December 28, 2019 at 5:00 P.M. at Louisiana College.