Portland Panther Cade Box has stayed busy this summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
A rising senior for the purple and white, Box has garnered attention, accepting invitations to some of the top exposure camps.
Recently, Box received an invitation to the Elite 11 camp in Murfreesboro. The Elite 11 is the nation’s premier quarterback competition. While the competition day ended early for the receivers, Box was still able to get a chance to compete with some of the top quarterbacks in the country.
“The camp itself was very cool just being around four and five start quarterbacks from all over the country,” he said. “Getting a chance to catch passes from them was pretty special.”
Box received his invitation from Chris Smith, one of the top scouts in the state of Tennessee.
The Portland High School standout was also recently listed by Tennessee Gridiron Scouting as its 25th best running back. Box was just the third running back from Sumner County listed, alongside Pope John Paul II’s Antwan Roberts and Beech’s Adrian Johnson.
“I am extremely honored to be on that list with such great running backs in our state,” he said. “This summer has truly been nothing but a grind for me. Working with guys like Ryan Johns, coach Jordan, coach Buck, and the National Playmakers Academy has allowed me to grow into my best version. I want to thank the Lord for blessing me with my athletic abilities and the parents that take me to all the workouts!”
Box is listed at 5’8, 172 pounds, carries a 3.6 Grade Point Average and was named First Team All-Sumner County as a junior.
During his junior season, Box led Portland with 283 kick off return yards, 100 yards on punt returns and recorded one special teams touchdown.
Box’s hard work is paying off. Recently he was clocked in the 40-yard dash with his best time, 4.40, and recorded his best broad jump at nine feet three inches at the National College Exposure Camp.
His goals remain simple: play college football.
Box currently has two offers on his list; Sewanee and Culver-Stockton.
As for the upcoming uncertainties surrounding the high school season, Box understands that this year is critical for his recruiting process.
“The biggest (hurdle) for me is not getting to go to as many camps as I would like due to coronavirus canceling them. I’m staying patient and hopeful that everything will work itself out for the better.”
As for safety on the field, Box says that he isn’t worried about contracting the coronavirus.
“I do feel safe, and I’m not extremely worried about getting the coronavirus, but I would say it is a concern for some going into the season."
The TSSAA is currently still trying to decide if they will start their fall sports on schedule or choose to push the season back to September 18. If the state elects to begin their season in September, Box says one option stands out as the best to him.
The TSSAA BOC is scheduled to meet Wednesday, July 22 at Siegel High School to discuss the upcoming season.
“I like the eight-game schedule the most,” he said on the four options presented to the coaches by TSSAA. “That will allow regions to take half the teams to the playoffs, and you don’t need to win the region to make it. I also like for the teams that don’t make the playoffs to have two extra games. In that scenario, you get the most games played even if you don’t make the playoffs.”
Box and the rest of his team have returned to workouts and will know more about the upcoming season in the coming weeks.
“I just want to play,” he said.