One-on-one drills at camp fun despite NCAA absence

The Baltimore Sun

Last Saturday I went to Penn State for its Nike Football Training Camp. I was at the camp last year, but this year was a little different.

For one, there were no college coaches there because of new NCAA rules. I actually liked last year better when pretty much every college coach you could name was there, because you could get more recognition for what you did. This year's event was still fun, though.

I went to the camp with my offensive coordinator, Coach Travis [Blackston], and my teammates -- [linebacker] Tevin Brown and [wide receiver] Sean Farr. I saw a couple of players from River Hill there, too, including [Wake Forest-bound] Mike Campanaro, and I said "what's up" to them.

We did a lot of drills at the camp. For a lot of the time, we were separated by position, so most of the drills I did were with the running backs. We did cone drills and ladder drills, and then we did some blocking and one-on-one drills with the linebackers.

The one-on-one drills were my favorite, especially this drill where the running back takes a sweep and tries to beat a linebacker. Most of the time, I was making the linebacker miss.

I didn't get to see a lot of Sean's play, but I did see Tevin, and he played really well. He was even lined up on me for a passing drill, and when the ball was thrown he knocked it down. He didn't say anything about it afterward, but he did give me "that look." It's good going to these camps with my teammates. It puts them out there, too, and gives them a chance to get some scholarships.

I thought I did well at the camp, and would've liked to win the MVP. The boy they gave it to [Kayvon Spriggs of H.D. Woodson] was good, though. I like the camps, but the main reason I go to them is that I want to play in some all-star games. The game I really want to play in is the U.S. Army All-American Bowl [to be played Jan. 3, 2009]. They're still selecting, but they've narrowed it down to the top 150, and I'm on the list, so hopefully I'll get selected.

Other than that, I'm still running track, and I think it's helping my speed. I took the SATs May 3, and I think I did OK. I don't think I should have to worry about them since my GPA is going up.

Coach Smith said I just got an offer from Pittsburgh. He said, "[Wide receivers] Coach [Bryan] Bossard was the one recruiting him. Basically, they say he's a playmaker and they want to see if they can bring him in and change the program." The next scheduled camp I'm going to is West Virginia's football camp June 29. I'm going with Coach Smith and some of my teammates.

About this series

This is the fourth in a series of occasional articles in which Dunbar football standout Tavon Austin takes readers through the recruiting process in his own words, as told to Sun reporter Stefen Lovelace. Austin, a junior running back-defensive back and two-time Sun Offensive Player of the Year, is being recruited heavily by a number of major Division I programs. For the series, Lovelace also consulted Austin's mother, Cathy Green; his football coach, Lawrence Smith; and his cousin, Aaron Thompson.

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