What camps to go to?
QB Lessons in Mckinney in Dallas will teach you how to pick what football camps to go to in the off season. Trust the Quarterback coach in Dallas. It is important to pick the right football camp because you have to be seen by the right people. Listen to Quarterback Lessons in Mckinney. It is a difficult lesson to learn at the beginning. You are going to things like Jacksonville Jaguars Camp. Mark Brunell says he is going to show up, but then he never does show up and they tell you its because he had to practice more, like we all do. You believe it, and end up leaving the camp not much different than when you got there. Although I will say the camaraderie at the camps is the key part. Things like when you are standing in line with other quarterbacks waiting for your turn, and talking, and socializing, and ranking yourself, and comparing how good you are compared to the other kids.
But then you get around 10th grade and you start going to camps that are dead serious like the Peyton Manning Passing Academy, and the Nike Football Camp, and the University Football camps where there are real players, real recruits, and real competition. This isn't for folks who sorta kind, know what to do and how to throw. This is where you start finding out who is Prom King. And folks start cutting in line, and getting nasty, and stealing reps, and hogging plays, and you have to get your machete out and start cutting down the jungle to get and take what is yours. Here you will start seeing talented quarterbacks, and keep them in mind, because from here on out you will see them at every camp for the rest of high school.
I camped with everyone from Ryan Mallet, to Josh Freeman, to Aaron Rodgers, to Mark Sanchez, to Chase Daniel & Nick Foles, to Philip Rivers -- all of them 15- 19 years old at these camps trying to get scholarships, throwing missiles and rockets, and you start to find out if you can actually play quarterback or not.
One time I got into a pissing contest with Ryan Mallet at the University of Nebraska camp. Swear to god-- it was 18 yard dig routes. Ryan Mallet and I dropping back 5 steps, and throwing rockets into the sternum of these wide receivers with a line of about 10 Nebraska coaches gasping for breath. It got so nuts, the other quarterbacks bowed out and just watched from the side. 15-20 throws a piece of pure rocket launcher missles whistling through the wind. I beat his sorry butt that day, and he found out real quick what a big gun looks like. But I will say he had a rocket too. A big lanky long release but it spun well and he looked solid. And that is just how it is. Two dogs, 1 bowl baby -- whose gonna eat?
Jacksonville Jaguars Camp 6th-8th Grade Level
NFL Camps are for younger kids who want to meet celebrity NFL players, and learn general skills around team building, exercise, and basic fundamental position drills. There is not a high level of acute or distinct skills that are taught to a direct position. You will find all kinds of straggler players, and folks who will probably quit as they age, but just wanted some summer fun and a safe go away camp. Not a lot of high level recruits go to these camps.
I just remember the long ass walk to the practice field, and being the best at throwing roll out passes than the other quarterbacks. Nothing else. Maybe that means something.
Brad Johnson Football Camp - Ages 6th- 8th grade level
You will often see quarterbacks put together their football camps at local universities like Eckerd College. Small universities etc. You pay again around $300 and get to stay in a small dorm, and eat decent cafeteria food. You practice all day from 8 am - 5pm. Camp for the youngsters. You will end up doing random things like a pushup drill and a DB drill, and a lineman drill - and the whole time you are like I just want to throw the football. Thats all I want to do. Leave me alone. Here is where I got to see Kirby Smart as a GA at Florida State. He tried to make me play safety during the drills and this guy caught a pass right in front of me. He took his visor off, and said, "damn son.?" and just stared at me. But that is what you get when you make a quarterback play a silly position like safety.
Brad Johnson told me "when I was your age I could never throw a football like that." As he watched me throw the ball. He was a nice guy. Big tall and wide hips. Drove a black escalade-- little pumpkin pie haircut.
Florida Gator Football Camp - 7th-9th grade
Okay here was my first time being at a football camp where the players were not just some slappys trying hard. There were a few of those types of players. But here were a more seeded collection of focused players, recruits, and talent. In fact-- for my first time it was absolutely overwhelming. The coaches were meaner, the drills were faster, the players were more cut throat and judgy. It was hard to fathom.
There was one throwing drill with the quarterback Jamie Burk from a local Tampa High School. I swear to god this kid had a rocket arm. He dropped back and fired a seem route with perfect rotation. He was tall, tan, good mechanics, big dumb knee brace like those 90's quarterbacks in college, or the USC quarterbacks. USC has a rule that all their quarterbacks have to wear knee braces. But this was the gators. Anyways -- he was a recruit there so he jumped in on all the reps. Just barged his way to the front of the line. WR were running up and picking their favorite quarterbacks because they wanted to look good during the route running. So again-- there was more pressure. People picking people. And you trying to get picked, and you need to preform. I couldn't handle it at first, and didn't like it. It was too much.
I remember complaining to my mom that the coaches didn't really care about you-- they just were intense and picking their favorites. Well no, it was that this is the real world now, and you have to fight for your right to play and get reps. It was brand new world Jasmine. Steve Spurrier drove around in a golf cart and gave a long speech that was half-ass and in between booster meetings and golf. God it was so hot, and on a knee, and you didn't understand what he was saying because you're still a little too young to comprehend competition at this level.
But anyways-- when you start going to University Camps its a whole new level. Its serious. These are kids who yes, they paid a fee to be there. But its because they are looking for a scholarship and to perform. These are kids motivated by working out, and running, and their skills. The drills are position specific.
USC Football Camp - Los Angeles 8th- 11th Grade
So I took a group of buddies up here for the football camp in Los Angeles at USC. This is when Pete Carroll was the head coach. They had Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian as assistant coaches, and Ed Ogeron.
No joke we were in the Heritage Hall and USC does this crazy tongon-- put on like robes and no shirts, and beat a massive gong drum while kids beat their chests and scream. So Ed Ogeron pulls the beating stick back and smashes the glass case holding OJ Simpsons Heisman Trophy or its replica. Doesn't even flinch and keeps going. Crazy as hell! This was the introduction to USC Football.
These practices were fast, but fun. This was an excellent football camp. These treated you well here. Pete Carroll really did. When you are stretching in warm ups- he runs around throwing the football with his coaches. He is high energy and high fiving, chewing gum, and slapping butts.
You still get the annoying part where you have to start the day as a football player, and do agilities, and bags and stuff. But its pretty quick and then breaks into position specific drills.
Lane Kiffin is just a dry humor, sarcastic, kind of finds your weakness and picks on it type person. If you don't mind that its fine. For sensitive folks they would breakdown. But he was the referee for the 7 on 7 tournaments. One kid scored a touchdown, and Pete Carroll blew the whistle from across the field after the kid did a backflip. He runs over and screams somebody get this kid a signed scholarship right now.
There were all kinds of folks here like Marquis Tuiosopo and Keith Rivers, and more players. Carson Palmer. Matt Leinhart.
I was in a drill throwing absolute rocket balls. So they promoted me up to Steve Sarkisians drill. Some 6'5 dork went in front of me who was terrible but his height caught Steve's attention. You will find in football that size is the first impression even if they are terrible players. Anyways -- Steve smells like the inside of a beer can but is a solid guy, gel in his hair, and greasy face. I thew a rocket and he laughed because he knew the big gun was in town.
Another time I was running a full team drill and four verticals, and I threw an inside seam route. Drilled it down the pipe touchdown. So Pete Carrol again runs across the field, and smacks my ass and says hell of a throw baby. and keeps on running.
Damn you feel special at USC football camp.
The dorms were solid, and nice kids at the camp. Just outside of the USC college though is the absolute worst ghetto of all time. But I got to to go into the collesium and throw a touchdown. Keith Rivers picked Matt Tuiosopo off in the endzone. They bring you into the locker room, and do a halftime speech and everything.
Peyton Manning Football Camp - 7th - Sr. Year
This was by far the greatest camp to ever exist for college quarterbacks. There is nothing better than Peyton Manning Passing Academy. All of the manning brothers are there, every top college quarterback is there, there are all kinds of ex-NFL and fun quarterbacks there. I got to pick of the quarterback Kelly Holcomb in a 7 on 7 tournament. I almost picked off Peyton Manning on a corner route. David Green the ex quarterback from the University of Georgia told me that I sweat like a hog. Luke McCown was my coach for the 7 on 7 tournament. All kinds of just fun folks everywhere. Its in Louisiana and its really hot, and the college campus is neat and the doors are solid. I was standing in line at the cafeteria with Peyton Manning behind me and he was getting a bowl of some jello. He looked down like a giraffe or a brontosauraus and said, "hey buddy, how are you doing?" I just stared at him like a guy looking at a 711 hot dog. It was pretty cool. It was like the first time that Sam Neil saw the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park 1 when driving into the facility. He gets out of the jeep eagle in astonishment. Here at this camp are college coaches, GA assistants, recruiters everywhere. Its how Jim Haskins of LSU started recommending me to their college, and Noel Mazzonne of LSU, and I started getting my scholarship offers. One awesome story is the time that Philip Rivers was saying him to me, and asking about the camp and my recruitment. And Eli Manning was sitting in the golf cart waiting with some shades on. He got restless and was like "Phil, lets go bro," and Philip was nice, but he had to go and they got into the golf cart and jetted off. I remember ever since then being a kid that Eli Manning was mean as a damn snake. I also saw a guy from William & Mary throw a football 90 yards, and my mind exploded into a kailedscope of colors.
Nike Football Camp - 10th- Sr. Year
This is when you are trying to get recruited to play college football. At this point you are dead serious about going to play college football and this is the ultimate test. The problem when you go to this camp is that you have to be on your p's and q's because all of the folks here are going to be recording your every move and time. If you run a bad forty yard dash then they are going. I ran a 40 yard dash in 4.8 seconds and have to tell them scratch it. Because when I went to the Nebraska camp I ran a 4.6 forty and can't be having different folks with different strokes. Be careful of the Nike Camp because its also for workout warriors. There was this lefty at the camp named Micheal something- went to NC State because of the camp. Ran a 4.3 forty and throw well. But was not that smart to say the least. Couldn't lead an offense or organize folks. Loved Gucci Mane. Which isn't bad but he loved it too much. But the point is that folks will go here looking to run big 40's and bench a lot, and jump high. You have to go to at least 3-5 of them regionally to get noticed. Its a meat show but its necessary. I remember throwing routes with Brock Berlin from Miami breathing down my neck. His coach asked him to come watch me. He was a nice guy. I brought a receiver from my hometown Louise Murphy and he ran some solid routes. Next thing you know he got 5-7 scholarship offers from the University of Florida and more. All because of me bringing him. It can happen like that.
Anyways-- you go to this Nike Camp in places like Miami, Orlando, and more and then they rank you by position. My mom took me early as a 10th grader on a whim. She lied to me and told me that we were going to watch the Nike Camp. Because only seniors were invited. When we show up she pulls my cleats out. She marches to the middle of the field and tells the coaches that I should be in the camp. They let me and I go out there to throw and beat out the quarterbacks in Florida. Next thing you know I get ranked the top 3 quarterback in Student Sports Magazine. That is when the offers start pouring in.
Elite 11 Quarterback Camp (2005)
This is the most prestigious fraternity of high school quarterbacks. Only a select few get to go the Elite 11 each year. You have to go through months of Nike Football camps, etc-- send your film in to Bob Johnson (now ESPN), and get selected. It was decent. We stayed at a villa in San Juan Capistrano in So Cal. My roommate was Jake Christianson. He was a decent lefty from Chicago. His dad Jeff introduced himself, "Jeff Christianson the 23rd pick the first round of the NFL draft as John Elway and Dan Marino" and I just shook his hand. There were was everyone from Aaron Rodgers to Mark Sanchez to Chase Daniel, Kyle Orton and more. There was a lot of individual drills and throwing sessions, 7 on 7 sessions. Jason White (Heisman Trophy) quarterback from Oklahoma was there. He had about the worst arm I have ever seen from someone considered talented. Kyle Orton had a rocket launcher, but seemed drunk the entire time. Carson Palmer never showed up. Aaron Rodgers had a solid arm but was still in his weird Cal phase where he held the ball up by his ear. He was unusually feminine. I was beating Chase Daniel in NCAA 2004, and talking a lot of noise. Aaron Rodgers politely asked me not to curse so much. I just stared at him like how a mountain lion stares at a goat. They do a lot of film room things like put you up on the white board, and tell you to run the 2 minute drill. Call out your own plays. It was fun. I was the best at that because I am probably-- and not kidding-- a quarterback sherpa who knows the position at a hall of fame level. Overall I won the "most likely to start first" quarterback award that presented by Aaron Rodgers to me at the end of camp. After the camp I went from being ranked #5 in the country to #3 in the country. There was one point when Ryan Periloux who went to LSU thought he had the strongest arm. So I challenged him to a deep ball competition, and beat him. Although he did throw it far. The only other person to jump in was Mark Sanchez. I remember Chase Daniel sheepishly backing out, as well as the others. I mean they knew their arms weren't great. Although he was pretty accurate, and did well in 7 on 7. So touche' my lord. Anyways -- we went down to Venice Beach and ate at Johnny Rockets. Saw Ed Ogeron jogging down the Venice Beach with his shirt off. He stopped by and said hi. He has a deep really rough sounding voice.
Cost: Have to be invited