Rosemount's Jacob Smith, left, works on his stance during Saturday afternoon's practice at Woodbury High School.
Chasing another state title is motivation enough for most players.
Not Grand Meadow’s Zach Myhre.
Myhre was one of the Minnesota preps competing at a rain-soaked Football University camp at Woodbury High School this weekend. Multiple practices, film sessions and informational presentations filled the players’ time, and forced the young players to focus on the finer points of their respective positions.
The camp began on Saturday and continues until late Sunday afternoon.
“This is really a technique camp, position-specific training for every position,” said FBU coach Mike Wilson, a former 49ers receiver who spent more than a decade in the NFL.
Myhre’s expectation of filling the star running back/ linebacker position for the Superlarks - as they chase their fifth-straight 9-Man title next season– has pushed Myhre to attend different events this offseason.
“I know that all the weight is on my shoulders now, said Myhre, who follows Landon Jacobson (Winona State) and Christopher Bain (Southwest Minnesota State) as Grand Meadow’s feature player. “Everyone’s looking up to me to be the one to carry us through the playoffs and hopefully to that state championship.”
Myhre participated in the camp at linebacker and said he expected to gain valuable knowledge from the camp. He specifically wanted to learn 11-man concepts that aren’t used as much at his level to lessen the learning curve when he plays college football.
The reason Elk River wide receiver Devon Garrison attended the FBU camp differed from Myhre, but the two shared the desire to improve for next season and beyond. Garrison, who converted from quarterback to wide receiver last season, simply needs exposure.
The Elks threw only 27 passes last season, making Garrison’s opportunities to make plays few and far between. He said camp season provides an important venue to show his receiving skills to be recruited at the next level.
“It just makes me better everyday,” Garrison said. “Going against guys that are good and maybe getting D-I offers, makes me better as well.”
The FBU camp provides players with position-specific training from coaches with NFL and Division-I college experience. All practices are recorded to document each player’s strengths and weaknesses. The film is then the broken down after each session in a group by the position coach and the correct adjustments are taught to every individual.
“You can talk till you’re blue in the face,” Wilson said, “but when a kid sees them yourself on film, and the coach knows what he’s teaching, it really helps them gain an advantage.”
For a player like Garrison, it’s that individual attention to detail that will benefit him next season with the Elks as well as in a possible college career.
“I think just getting better at this stuff,” Garrison said. “If our run game doesn’t work somehow next year, I want to be able to go out and be effective in the passing game next year if we need it.”