The NIKE Football Training Camps have become theone day football event of its kind and hundreds of next February's signees will show up at one of the 11 workouts this spring to learn about improving speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) via Nike speed trainers.
Here are some interesting, and in some cases important to know, facts about the first camp, which will be held Sunday on the University of Southern California camp in L.A...
* The USC NIKE Camp kicks off the sixth year of the NIKE Football Training Camps and is the 52nd one held overall.
* This is the 5th time of 6 years the SoCal camp has been held on the USC.
QUIZ 1: Can you name the site the one year it was held elsewhere? (answer at end).
* About 300 prospects have pre-registered to attend.
* The NIKE Football Camps are free and open to the public, although only staff and participants are allowed on the fields. Family members, coaches and fans are allowed to watch while staying behind appropriate boundaries.
* While the bulk of the players will be from California, there are some coming from as far away as Alaska.
* This will also be the first camp where walkons will not be permitted to participate.
Simply, there are insurance, space and workability issues, but mostly because a "NIKE Combine" will be held in exactly one month for those who didn't pre-register for the NIKE Camp.
It will take place May 6 at USC, and will be open to all comers and, importantly, will be during the live recruiting period so hundreds of college coaches will be there.
QUIZ 2: What do Samie Parker (Oregon WR), Kareem Kelly (USC WR) and Chris Rix (Fla St QB) all have in common? (answer at end)
* At least a dozen participants confirmed to attend the Sunday camp already have offers including Hacienda Heights (Calif.) Los Altos DL Brigham Harwell, who says he has full-ride offers from UCLA and Arizona.
* At least seven of those confirmed for the camp have self-reported GPAs of 4.0 or higher:
1) Brendan Circle ATH (Orange Lutheran, Orange CA)--4.40
2) Scott Deke QB (Loyola, L.A. CA)--4.06
3) Chris Joseph OL (Santa Ynez CA)--4.14
4) Jeramy Knepper WR/DB (Brethren Christian, Huntington Beach CA)--4.16
5) Zach Miller TE (Desert Vista, Phoenix AZ)--4.00
6) Joseph Paolini OL/DL (Palm Desert CA)--4.33
7) Cory Smits QB (Agoura, Agoura Hills CA)--4.00
* This will be the second go-round for 10% of the attendees: 32 of those heading to the USC camp went to a NIKE Camp last year.
Among those who tested very well as underclassmen in '02 were:
1) Rocky Hinds QB (St. Bernards, Playa del Rey CA)
He measured in at 6-3 1/2, 200 pounds, ran a 4.5 in the 40 and recorded a 28" vertical.
2) Damon Morton WR (North, Riverside CA)
At 5-10, 160 pounds, he ran a 4.59 in the 40 and a very quick 4.03 20-yard shuttle.
3) Zach Miller TE (Desert Vista, Phoenix AZ)
A Student Sports Jr. All-American last year, he weighed in at 6-4, 222 pounds, ran a 5.00 in the 40 and a very good 4.45 in the shuttle. His vertical was 27.2".
4) Jed Collins LB (Mission Viejo CA)
A CalHiSports.com all-state underclass pick, he topped the scales at 6-1 1/2, 231 pounds and ran a 5.07 in the 40 and a 4.68 in the shuttle.
5) Joey Munn WR (Foothill, Pleasanton CA)
Another all-state underclass honoree, he ran a 4.51 in the 40 at a healthy 6-2, 201 pounds.
6) Josh Pinkard DB (Hueneme, Oxnard CA)
The safety prospect was measured at 5-11, 181 pounds, ran a 4.59 in the 40 and had a 30" vertical jump.
7) Allen Brunner LB (St. Bonaventure, Ventura CA)
The stocky 'backer is smallish at 5-10, 200 pounds but super strong, putting up 35 reps of 185 pounds on the bench. He had 13 sacks also to earn all-league honors.
ANSWER 1: San Diego State in 2001
ANSWER 2: All three attended the first year ('98) of the NIKE Camps; in SoCal it was at USC. Parker and Kelly, incidentally, played together at Long Beach Poly High along with Stanford QB Chris Lewis and Darrell Rideaux, the DB at USC who finished his eligibility.