(Link for photos is at the bottom of the post.)
We survived Top Gun camp. Or, Kevin and I just survived — Jack excelled. This was his second year to earn an invitation to Football University‘s Top Gun camp. Technically, you’re supposed to have completed sixth grade, but he was selected last year as a fifth grader. CLICK HERE for the report on last year’s camp.
During the Spring/Early Summer, Jack attended three of FBU’s weekend camps in Downingtown, New Jersey, and on Long Island. After each camp, he was selected as one of the top players and invited to the summer Top Gun camp (as a defensive back from the Downingtown camp, as a linebacker from the other two camps. He did linebacker at Top Gun.)
Top Gun camp is held at wonderful facility in Williamsburg, VA, but like last year, it was the middle of a heat wave. At one point, the turf temperature was about 140 degrees; they said the heat index was about 120. I got in the car and the thermometer read 115 … after driving around, a few minutes later, it read 119. They did a great job of keeping the kids healthy and safe — water breaks at least every 15 minutes and non-stop Gatorade before and after.
The competition was as hot as the tempteratures. Jack’s group — the purple jerseys mean “6th grade defensive player” — had a range of skills. I’m probably biased, but I think Jack had the best skills, although a couple of the other boys had genetics (i.e., SIZE) on their side. Rumor had it that although one of the larger players just completed sixth grade, he was 14 years old.
Kevin and I both thought the general talent of the linebacker group was superior to the linebackers at last year’s camp, but we didn’t think the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers were as good.
The structure of all the FBU camps is pretty much the same: skills drills according to position, offense/defense one-on-one drills, offense/defense seven-on-seven drills and a classroom session. That pattern repeats in the afternoon.
Below is a video of one of the skills drills (If you can ‘t see the video below, reload the page. I’m still working out some kinks in the code.) Jack is #40 in the purple shirt.
I think Jack looks faster and smoother than some of the other linebackers and he got a lot of praise for his form and speed.
Below is a video of some of the one-on-one drills:
We got a new video camera, because Jack is going to need a lot of highlight reels in the next couple of years. I spent a lot of time at Top Gun practicing with the camera. (I know, I need a lot more work.) I’ve spent EVEN MORE time since we’ve been home trying to figure out editing and uploading. Because of all that, I didn’t take as many still photos as I usually do, but CLICK HERE for the photos I took of Jack at Top Gun. (If you don’t have Flash installed, CLICK HERE for non-Flash gallery.)