Polk County Training Camp: Straight from the Notebook

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These are notes directly out of my composition notebook for your enjoyment. They are in no particular order.

— Good to see a nice early turnout. I’m excited to see Willie Lane playing defensive line today. He looks like he’s going to grow into a 250-pound football player similar to his oldest brother D.C. Jefferson. Willie’s older brother, Eastern Kentucky running back Adam Lane, is also here. Lane started at Florida and I think he was the MVP of their bowl game before he left. You know I’m going to ask him about his little incident (http://deadspin.com/florida-running-back-shits-pants-1677266274) too.

— Brendan Gant is an impressive looking young athlete. He’s a 2019 kid at Kathleen High. He’s tall, got long arms and he’s athletic. He’s also putting in a lot of work during the offseason with the Polk County Dream Team 7v7 group. He is my early pick for top skill player. His dad, Eric Gant, played at Kathleen in the late 80s and single-handedly beat Lake Gibson (my alma mater) in the district championship in 1988. I still have bad dreams of him running through the Braves defense.

— Bartow linemen Tyler Schultz and Garrit Cloud arrived. I was hoping they were able to get the sophomore Lamar Barrett out here but I guess he couldn’t make it. Bartow’s line is going to average over 270 pounds this year.

— You can’t miss Chandler Pearce if you tried. He’s hilarious but he’s also a heck of a competitor. I like the linemen I have today. These are some tough, rugged young men. Ricky Barnum and Chris Campbell will be my line coaches today and there will be some battles.

— Good to see Coach Richard Dunbar from Fort Lauderdale make the trip with several of his athletes. Broward County in the house!

— Looks like I’ll be on digital 40 time this week again. Next camp I’ll have to have a coach do this because I want to spend more time going from station to station, especially watching the 3-cone drill.

— Schultz and Cloud just ran their 40s barefoot LOL. And they had much better times. Schultz moves well for a big man, I could see him projecting as a 1-AA linemen, especially if he has good grades.

— There’s a nasty crosswind that Adam Lane says is probably taking a tenth of a second off 40 times. It’s a crosswind and not a headwind but it’s still affecting form on the homestretch.

— Tommy Ashwood just hit a 4.75 digital which means he should break a 4.6 hand timed. That’s likely to be the fastest of the day as this wind isn’t stopping.

— Lane broke the five second mark so the athleticism is definitely there.

— Times were a little slow because of that wind. The wind was evident in Jacksonville too but this a bad wind and a little slower track.

— Listening to my man Paul Gonnella do his thing. Prospects need to hear this. Embrace your talent. Use football to further your education and put you in a place to make a respectable living without too much (or any) college loan debt.

— Lakeland High’s dynamic duo — James Robinson and A.J. Davis have come out to watch.

— Naturally I flocked to the linemen. I can’t help it. Chandler Pearce is holding court out here. Real competitive and a little bit of trash talk. I like it.

— I’m going to have to trust the coaches to tell me about the skill kids because these line battles are getting too good.

— Tyler Schultz told me he rolled his ankle a little. That’s a bad break, I really wanted to see him compete.

— Willie Lane is tough in these one on ones. Playing offensive line early has really helped his hand movement.

— Ricky Barnum is called Torri Young “Fort Lauderdale”. I love it. Young is representing hard for the Flying L’s today.

— Very good camp. We were fighting with a couple of track meets and IMG regionals but I’m happy with the work the campers got in today. Interested to see who wins the awards.

— Jamal Chapman coming through again, this time he fell short of being named the top skilled player but he put in another strong camp.

— Awards are done:

Trenchman: Willie Lane (Honorable Mention: Torri Young)
Catch/Cover: Semaj James (Honorable Mention: Jamal Chapman)
Fastest: Tommy Ashwoood
Strongest: Chandler Pearce
Golden Arm: Jordan Wright
Bright Light: Jacoby Lane

— Looking forward to Bradenton on April 10!

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