Scores of youth and high school football players from the Inland Empire took advantage of the opportunity to participate in an “invitation only” Football University Camp held in San Diego this past weekend. Two received awards. Junior cornerback Matthew Palmer from Heritage High School was named Gatorade Defensive MVP. Sophomore wide receiver Dominique Isaiah Maiden from Temecula Valley High School was one of three to receive the National Army Combine Award.
The elite camp featured over 265 athletes receiving personalized instruction and evaluations from eighteen top ex-NFL players and coaches over a three-day period. The players received hands-on training from some of the NFL’s best. For example, wide receivers received expert instruction from Coach Charlie Collins, one of the nation’s top wide receiver gurus who have coached All-Pros Chad Ochocinco and Steve Smith, Pro-Bowler TJ Houshmanzadeh, and Chris Henry.
Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson taught the defensive backs. Chris Miller and Sean Salisbury guided the quarterbacks. Defensive linemen were trained by Thurman Moore who has also trained All-Pros Dwight Feeney, Simeon Rice, and Joey Porter. Each group had similarly expert instructors. The training included in-classroom sessions as well as on-field drills and competitions.
“Where else can you get expert training like this, from top guys who really know the game?” said Troy Aguayo, parent of Linfield Christian lineman Jake Aguayo. “I’ve learned so much – this is an awesome experience!” exclaimed junior Devon Turk-Wilson from Elsinore High School.
Similar statements were heard from parents and players throughout the weekend. Many moms, wives, brothers and sisters were also in attendance at the family-friendly camp. Local athletes represented schools throughout Southwest Riverside County, including Hemet, Heritage, Temecula Valley, Linfield Christian, Great Oak, Elsinore, Corona Centennial, Fontana Summit, among others.
Sponsors were also highly-involved. Xenith presented a seminar on player safety, featuring the latest product advances in helmets and shoulder pads. East Bay provided field trials of new products (cleats and gloves). Adidas provided dri-fit muscle shirts color-coded for offense and defense. Sklz provided athletic training equipment and conducted the on-field warm-up sessions. NCSA educated athletes and parents on the latest recruiting rules and guidelines.
A number of standout athletes were selected from this camp and forty other regional FBU Camps for an invitation to “FBU Top Gun”, the largest gathering of elite prep and youth football talent in the world. There they improve their skills and techniques and compete against one another in intense competition. A select few will be invited to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the nation’s premier high school All-Star football game to be held at the Alamodome in January 2014.
Look for these Football University alumni to lead their local teams in the upcoming football season.