FAU Camp Attracts Some Younger Players

Sam Young

While there weren't as many big names as last year's camp, Florida Atlantic University showcased some impressive young players this year including promising sophomore lineman/tight end Sam Young of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

BOCA RATON – There's a perception that the "star-quality football players" don't have to show up for team and individual camps. That's something that high school coaches need to get into their athlete's heads that is not true.

Last year, Florida Atlantic University hosted a camp at their beautiful campus that was open to all athletes from around the state, and you know what? There were some mighty impressive football players who made their way to coach Howard Schnellenberger's football camp.

From Miami Norland star receiver Dwayne Bowe to Dwight Stephenson Jr. of Boca Raton Pope John Paul II and standout junior C.J. Hirschman of Jacksonville Mandarin, the players came out and were impressive.

This year, the coaches were looking for the same turnout, but instead, the camp attracted a different type of camper. Some of the most promising underclassmen as well as underexposed seniors made their way to the camp, and I was pleased to have spent one of the afternoon's in a setting that was great for football.

While the camp didn't have the "stars" like last year, I believe things worked out just fine for the over 160 players who learned more in the three days than they had perhaps in an entire season.

With some of the top instructors on hand for the event to teach technique and other skills, I had the pleasure of seeing the much talked about Sam Young, a 6-7, 275-pound sophomore tight end (now offensive lineman) from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

Coaches had told me about this 15-year-old man-child, and now I know he will be on the WATCH LIST for the next few years as he learns how to play the offensive line after playing tight end as a ninth grader at Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest. This kid really has star written all over his frame, but he acknowledges that he also has plenty to learn.

The camp also exposed some rising seniors like Miami Central receiver Gary Cribbs and lineman Moises Colon, who turned some heads during drills. Cribbs may become one of the top receivers in Miami-Dade County in the next six months.

Also on hand were promising Coral Springs seniors Jo Jo Charles (6-1, 270) defensive nose tackle and running back Willie Reed, who may have been the most impressive running back.

Port St. Lucie West Centennial also brought a number of players that head coach Jim O'Neal is hoping can lead the team to the playoffs. Promising receiver Kyle Langford and speedy Jarvis Drayton were also players who coaches were very optimistic about.

I attend several camps during the summer. While I cannot be at all of them, I try and sample a few different ones so that I can see as many players as possible. I look forward to checking out a camp you will be at this summer. Can you think of a better way to spend a few days in the hot sun? I can't!

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