Jack spent Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday at “Football University,” a training camp for serious football middle school and high school players. They take just a few players at each position and work them HARD with NFL & college coaches and players. Jack was in heaven.
The camp has a big classroom component, which Jack absolutely loved and had never had in any of his other football camps. I hung out in the classroom with Jack, and it was fast-paced and detailed.
They flew through the information about difference defensive formations and were expected to absorb it and then demonstrate they knew what they were doing when they hit the field.
(I noticed a lot of the players with glazed looks on their faces and many of them never took any notes — Jack took six to eight pages of notes a session. Some of those with blank stares were decent players on the field, but in the classroom, they couldn’t answer the questions about coverage assignments or shifts. Some couldn’t name the gaps correctly. I kept thinking “JaMarcus Russell.”)
The coaches for linebackers were Ricky Hunley (7th draft pick overall out of Univ. of AZ, played for Broncos, coached various places including Univ. of MO and Cincinnati Bengals) and Ted Cotrell (former defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, and the San Diego Chargers; fun fact: he went to Del Val College.)
Once they got to on-field drills, they players broke into two groups, 10-12th graders and 9th grade and younger. There was VERY LITTLE standing around!! If you messed something up, 20 pushups was usually the penalty.
On Sunday, the coaches gave the players/parents individual evaluations. Coach Cotrell seemed to have taken a liking to Jack on Saturday and had many good things to say about Jack’s play, summing it up by saying that, “Dynamite comes in small packages.” (I think Jack was the shortest player in the lineback group.)
He also praised Jack a number of times on the field and was overheard telling the FBU head coach during a 7-on-7 game, “Watch my little man out there.” Just after he said that, Jack dominated one of the best 8th graders.
More photos from Saturday are here. Jack is #654.