While most Coast high school football players will be running sprints and spending time in the weight room this summer, St. Martin senior quarterback Wayne Overman III will be donning the red white and blue and playing in games halfway around the world.
Overman will be on Team USA in the 2016 IFAF U-19 World Championship, which will be held June 30-July 11 in Harbin, China. He leaves Saturday for New Jersey to begin camp in preparation for the tournament, which also features teams from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Japan and Mexico.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm very excited about it," Overman said Wednesday.
Overman is one of three quarterbacks and 44 players on Team USA, which is coached by Dennis Thomas of Millville (N.J.) High School.
Players typically earn a spot on the team through a handful of regional camps, but the process of joining the squad was much easier for Overman after his father sent his game film to the coaching staff.
"My dad sent them film just hoping I would get invited to the first (camp) so they can see what I can do," Overman said. "They saw my film and the guy that recruits for them loved it and sent it straight to their offensive coordinator. They loved my film and my competitive drive. They just told me to come on the team. I looked it up and saw that it was legit, a pretty big deal. I talked to my coaches at the school and they thought it would be a great opportunity."
Worth the trip
Overman expects to rotate snaps with the two other quarterbacks on the roster.
The only expenses the Overman family will have to pay are his trip to New Jersey and a new passport. The rest will be handled by USA Football.
Overman will be away from home for about 22 days during his Team USA experience. He's not sure if he'll get a chance to play the role of tourist on his trip to China, but he plans to find out the calendar once he arrives for camp.
Overman has already reached out to one of his fellow quarterbacks on Team USA, Virginia quarterback Lindell Stone, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior who is verbally committed to Cavaliers.
The 6-foot, 215-pound Overman has also received his fair share of interest from FBS programs and mostly from the nation's top military academies. He holds scholarship offers from Navy, Air Force, Army West Point, The Citadel and Southeastern Louisiana. The left-hander is also getting interest from Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss, South Alabama, Troy and Southern Illinois.
Overman admits he was a little surprised at first when the nation's top military school programs began pursuing him.
"I've asked all of them, 'How did you hear about me?'" Overman said. "They said they watched my film and they wanted me.
"It's a great experience having an opportunity to play for one of those schools. I'm open minded to all of it. I'm trying to find the best opportunity, to see where I fit in their offense and with the coaching staff."
Set up for success
Overman enters his senior season at St. Martin as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state. As a junior, he completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,752 yards and 17 touchdowns while running 167 times for 1,148 yards and 16 scores. Those numbers should take a significant jump this season with Tyler Polk, who is now at East Mississippi CC, no longer sharing some of the snaps at quarterback.
The IFAF U-19 World Championship takes place every two years and the 2014 tournament was held in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The U.S., which has won two of the three previous events, took home the gold medal in 2014 with a 40-17 win over Canada.
Former St. Stanislaus quarterback Dylan Favre competed in the adult version of the IFAF World Championship last summer in Canton, Ohio, and came away with the gold.
Overman hopes to bring home his own gold medal in July.
"It's a really big deal to represent your country in a different country," he said. "It's a great way to go somewhere else."