We've been blessed with not just great Polynesian coaches who want to take part in this, but other great coaches from around the country who believe in what we do here and want to take part in it. —Alema Te'o
LAYTON — Every year, the All Poly Camp tries to bring in top coaches — both locally and from across the country.
Camp director Alema Te’o believes that benefits those who attend from year to year. More than a few past participants have been offered scholarships largely based on their performances at the All Poly Camp.
Before drills started Thursday, coaches from colleges like Oklahoma, Boise State, Cal and Stanford were seen making the rounds.
“We get them from all over,” Te’o said. “We’ve been blessed with not just great Polynesian coaches who want to take part in this, but other great coaches from around the country who believe in what we do here and want to take part in it.”
Coaches from Oklahoma State, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin are expected to attend along with most of the staff from local programs Utah, BYU, Utah State and Weber State.
Utah coach “Kyle Whittingham will be here — he always comes out to talk to these kids and we’re thankful for that,” Te’o said. “Just about all the BYU coaches will be here, coaches from Utah State, and that’s a great thing for local kids who want to show those coaches that they can play.”
COMING BACK HOME: For coaches like Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, coming out to attend the All Poly Camp serves two primary purposes. One obvious purpose is to identify potential recruiting targets.
“This camp gets out top talent every year, so it’s important for me to come out and see that talent,” Montgomery said. “This is my first year coaching at Oklahoma and really the only time I’ve had a chance to help out here, although I’ve been wanting to help out for years now.”
Montgomery has local ties to the greater Salt Lake City area, which is the other primary reason for his attendance.
“I played at Hillcrest High School before playing for Iowa,” he said. “This is a chance for me to go back to the place where I really started to learn the game and hopefully give back while re-establishing some ties to this great community.”
At just 33 years of age Montgomery is a fast-rising star in the coaching ranks and plans to make attending the All Poly Camp an annual event.
“Over the last 12 or so years I’ve always had conflicts that prevented me from coming out to this great camp, but hopefully I’ll have the chance now to come out every year,” he said. “I want to be a part of this as much as I can.”
NOT JUST ABOUT FOOTBALL: The All Poly Camp both talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to stressing academics to camp participants.
The very first day of activities saw attendees go to academic workshops for hours before taking the practice field.
“We’re serious about academics here and want these kids to understand that it’s no joke,” Te’o said. “Being good at football is fine and great, but if you can’t get it done in the classroom then you’re not going to get to play, so it doesn’t matter. Academics always come first and that’s what we stress.”