Saturday December 15th, 12:30pm Kickoff!
Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, Myrtle Beach, SC
2017 FAF D2 Senior Bowl
(formerly the "D2 vs NAIA CHALLENGE")
Going into its 9th year, this game has been highly successful and is undoubtedly the premier post-season honorary showcase opportunity for all of Division 2 (D2) Football. It has attracted the best football players D2 has to offer for the past 8 years, boasting rosters that are consistently comprised of 66% All-Americans, All-Region and All-Conference players from all over the Country.
See reference: FAF 2018 D2 Pre-Season Senior All-American Selections
The FAF NAIA Challenge is typically played in Myrtle Beach on 3rd Saturday of December and is the 4th event in a 5-bowl games series called the FAF International Scouting Showcase (ISS).
This game is the one of the feature events of the final day of the ISS.
D2 Senior Bowl Player Selections
This event is by invite only. The D2 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.
In 2011, the game's founders took a moment to assess where they were with the Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL). The league now had two established and successful bowl games for the DIII (FAF DIII Senior Classic) and D1-FCS (FAF D1-FCS Senior Scout Bowl) levels, but there was something missing. The D2 and the NAIA levels were the only levels left without a game. In response, the D2 vs. NAIA Challenge was born to complete the CDFL’s post-season collegiate football landscape.
This game quickly peaked the interest of the football world because of its intriguing matchup of the two levels. Players, coaches and fans from across the country shared their enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity to promote the talent of D2 and NAIA. In its first year in 2011, the game was played in Middletown N.Y. and was internet broadcast live. The webcast received over 14,000 views nationwide. The game is now played in Myrtle Beach in conjunction with the International Scouting Showcase's (ISS) four (4) 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!