The NCAA has been monitoring the rise of 7-on-7, and Robinson said he met with an NCAA representative earlier this year. He said the NCAA was merely being "proactive" and that "there is no NCAA investigation of any kind of Next Level Nation." The NCAA had no comment, spokesman Erik Christianson said.

Donovan Riley said traveling on Robinson's team "allowed me to showcase my talent against other players in the area and in the country." Among his 7-on-7 teammates was Dunbar receiver DeonTay McManus, a Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection at safety.

Despite playing on the traveling all-star team, Riley said his "No. 1 commitment" is to Wrenn and Poly.

While Wrenn permitted his players to participate with a travel team, at least one Maryland powerhouse — DeMatha — does not.

"Our kids will only play for DeMatha," coach Elijah Brooks said. "It's not AAU basketball or anything like that. You only play for the school."

Brooks said there was too much risk of injuries and that "we don't really want a lot of outsiders influencing our guys."

Wrenn was interviewed on a warm, sunny day at M&T Bank Stadium, where Riley and a group of his Poly teammates competed against other area high schools in a 7-on-7 tournament hosted by the Ravens and Under Armour. The players wore shorts and T-shirts without helmets or pads — the game is played without linemen. The applause of a small crowd was drowned out by rock music blaring from speakers.

Wrenn said he has no issues with tournaments such as the one at the stadium, largely because high school coaches were present. Edsall or other college coaches could not attend because it was not a scholastic event.

"Street agent people have no compunction about breaking the rules. But we high school coaches are, I hope, a level above," said Wrenn, who believes state rules need adjusting "so that we can coach kids in the offseason."

But Ned Sparks, executive director of Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said there would be procedural hurdles to overcome to enact the reforms Wrenn seeks.

Teams aren't currently permitted to hold offseason practices. Players may meet with their coach or lift weights together, but can't engage in organized football activities as a team. Team members are allowed to play together on 7-on-7 teams that don't employ school uniforms or equipment.

Sparks said easing the rules would require approval of the MPSSAA, school superintendents and the state Board of Education. He said offseason practices would pose complications.

"How much could they practice? You have to have some limitations," Sparks said. "If football is practicing year round, what about the kid who wants to play baseball as a football player? Sometimes you have to protect people from themselves."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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