Utah State Aggies host prep athletes for summer football camp

By Bill Quick

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:50 a.m. MDT

High school athletes from throughout the U.S. attend the three-day summer football camp hosted by the Utah State Aggies in Logan.

Bill Quick, Deseret Digital Media

LOGAN — It’s June and high school football players all over the West are suiting up in pads and helmets for summer football camps. The gridiron is in full swing for high school student-athletes.

One of those camps was in Logan, hosted by the Utah State Aggies June 9-11, and it drew student-athletes from all over the Western U.S. and Canada. The camp was structured so high schools could bring partial or complete teams. One of the schools attending the camp was Kearns High School with 85 players and at the camp they were divided into JV and varsity squads.

Some teams brought more, others fewer players. The camp was also open to individual players.

Utah State football coach Matt Wells and his staff hosted 550 prep student-athletes at this year's football camp.

“It’s important the we provide quality coaching and instruction to these athletes and expose them to both at a high level," Wells said. "Most of these kids want to get recruited to a Utah college and even a Div. I school like Utah State. This camp gives them the opportunity.

“We have great team competition and some highly competitive individuals, so when you mix those together you can count on some fireworks. We remind the kids often that this isn’t the week of the state championship game, but a time work on your craft. We give these kids the opportunity to play the greatest team sport ever invented.”

When asked how important the camp is to Utah State’s recruiting effort, Wells explained, “To see how this camp has grown over the years and to see kids from all over the West and Northwest come to compete, it’s everything to us.”

The Aggies are hosting players representing schools from Utah; Idaho; Washington; California; Colorado; Alberta, Canada; and two full-team rosters from high schools in Nevada.

“We’ve been coming to Utah State for years," football coach Leon Evans of the Centennial Bulldogs in Las Vegas said. "They are a great host and the players get excellent instruction from the Aggies coaching staff.”

The Nevada schools included Shadow Ridge and Centennial, who happen to be big rivals back home.

The camp included individual offense and defense position coaching, along with team drills with specific focus on agility. All of the skills training were specifically aimed toward improving team scrimmages. Teams scrimmaged in a round-robin format with each team playing each other in six, 20-minute rapid-fire sessions.

High schools that had large groups of players from Utah included teams from Kearns, Corner Canyon and Juan Diego. Many high schools were represented by smaller groups of players including Bountiful, Alta, West, Viewmont, Woods Cross, Sky View and Highland High from Pocatello, Idaho.

Dozens of other high schools were represented at the camp by individual student-athletes from throughout the Western U.S.

The completion was hard-hitting and highly competitive. Coaches did their best to keep the intensity under control so players didn’t get hurt this early in the season. Contact was limited to above the waist with most players opting to wear shorts rather than traditional padded football pants. That didn’t keep the players from playing at full speed. There were plenty of hard hits, chest bumping, high-fives and the occasional trash-talking.

Juan Diego head coach John Colosimo brought 40 players to this year's camp: “The competition was surprisingly tough considering it’s so early in the summer," he said.

Colosimo noted that he expected outstanding play from standout center Andrew Markosian and offensive lineman Adam Murray. Colosimo said he expects to see great things from Drew Uno, who will anchor the Soaring Eagle receiving corp.

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