If you are an Orange County or Los Angeles area high school football player and you weren’t at Sage Hill high school on Saturday, June 27, you missed out on an amazing experience.

J.R. Tolver, former SDSU, Miami Dolphins, and Dallas Cowboys receiver, who is now the Sage Hill athletic director and head football coach, hosted what proved to be a once in a lifetime football camp.  The camp was laden with experienced coaches, who proved that they know better than anyone what it takes to dominate the football field.

NFL Players Challenge the Athletes

Aside from the Sage Hill coaching staff, current and former NFL players including Kevin O’Connell, Robert Ortiz, Kirk Morrison, and Freddy Keiaho coached these Orange County athletes throughout a camp that won’t be forgotten.

Playing catch with Kevin O’Connell, joking around with Robert Ortiz, and watching Akbar Gbaja-Biamila evaluate pass rushing attempts of the high schoolers definitely proved to be the highlights of the camp for me. One can only imagine what the experience was like for the athletes attending the camp.

The Drills

The NFL player coaching staff  immersed themselves into the camp.  They got to know each player’s name, their tendencies, and did everything they could to make them a better football player. While New England Patriots receiver Robert Ortiz taught the high school wide outs how to catch and protect the ball, teammate and Tom Brady’s #2 man, Kevin O’Connell, was teaching the quarterbacks how to throw the perfect pass.  Colts linebacker and Super Bowl champion, Freddy Keiaho, taught the linebackers how to find and close up the holes in the line, fellow linebacker Kirk Morrison of the Oakland Raiders worked with the defense trying to instill in them the same drive that pushed him to record 135 tackles last season (3rd in the NFL).  Running backs learned how to hit the holes with a burst of speed, defensive backs learned how to read the offense, and the line quickly discovered that size isn’t the only key to protecting the quarterback.  Every position received quality instruction from these top NFL talents.

Needless to say, this camp provided high school players of all levels with the opportunity to learn from the best.  Athletes learned that, while the game is physically challenging, success starts with the mind.  Not only did these athletes learn the ins and outs of their respective positions, they got a sense of what kind of mentality is necessary to advance their careers on and off the field. From how to dominate in high school to what it takes to get to the next level, this all star coaching staff spent an extraordinary day giving these athletes all the tools they would need to succeed in the upcoming fall season and life beyond.

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