As rainfall made its way across a majority of Louisiana Monday morning, not even Mother Nature could stop the Offensive/Defensive Line Camp from continuing at Nicholls State University. More than 100 high school students packed the inside of the David R. Stopher gymnasium for day three of the lineman camp.
One of the organizers of this year’s camp is former LSU defensive line coach, Pete Jenkins, who announced his retirement following the 2017 season after nearly a 15-year stint at LSU. He has coached of a lot players who have gone on to have successful careers in college and the NFL.
While most football camps generally focus on those recruiting and marquee positions, like quarterbacks and receivers, this one is looking to refine the skills of those who often get overlooked while working in the trenches. The four-day camp allows players to go through a series of drills which challenge them mentally and physically.
“This is a camp dedicated to kids. It’s all of the fundamentals and being helpful toward them,” Jenkins said. "Our mission is to help these guys develop some skills that they can go home with. Maybe they won’t be an All-American, but they can have a great experience of playing high school football."
Having spent over 30 years around the game, Jenkins has developed a lot of connections over the years, which made it easy for him to fill out his coaching staff for this year’s event. Coaches from the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, and others from universities were on hand Monday.
That relationship and love for football are what has kept defensive line coach of the New England Patriots, Brendan Daly, coming back after over ten years. “It’s been a great experience, teaching kids at this age is a different element of football that is required,” Daly said. "You have to boil things down to the nuts and the bolts and find different ways to communicate it or progress the drills [which] forces you to get better as a coach. That’s why I enjoy coming down here.”
Over the course of the four-day camp, more than 400 kids will have been through the camp. Many of them show up for different reasons. At the end of the day, Jenkins is only focused on making an impact in the immediate future.
“I want everyone to be as good as [they] can possibly be, whatever that level is,” Jenkins said. "My thing is not to help them get to [college football], I want to help them to be a better high school football player.”
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