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One last summer football fling

Posted Jul 27, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Jul 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM

Just 10 days before the official start of real high school football (Aug. 6, the date prep teams can officially begin fall practice), some of the area’s top players took part in the John Kaleo Quarterback Academy Skills Camp on Friday at Tampa’s Skyway Park.

Kaleo, a former Arena Football League quarterback, organized the four-hour event for the second year. The approximately 50 invited quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends he invited to the camp were given instruction by former NFL players Casey Weldon, Peter Tom Willis, Reidel Anthony, Todd Yoder, Yo Murphy and Jeff Jagodzinski.

Weldon and Willis, who both started at quarterback for Florida State, said they were particularly impressed with the QBs they worked with Friday. Weldon recently returned from working at ESPN’s Elite 11, arguably the nation’s top quarterback competition for prep athletes, staged in Southern California.

The Elite 11 are selected through a search of about 1,000 quarterbacks from regional camps staged by Nike and EA Sports Elite 11 regional camps. And when he got done working with his QBs in Friday’s Kaleo camp, Weldon said there wasn’t a ton of difference between the guys throwing the ball here than the Elite 11 camp.

“These kids are impressive,” Weldon said. “This is a great looking bunch of quarterbacks here.”

The QBs invited by Kaleo included East Lake’s Pete Dinovo, who recently committed to Central Florida, Tracy Johnson (Lakewood), Brandon Hawkins (Alonso), Nate Mills (Sickles), Juwan Brown (Largo), Christian Strong (Countryside), Chase Litton (Wharton), Alex McGough (Gaither), Taylor King (Freedom), Curtis Fitch (Steinbrenner) and Brad Mayes (Berkeley Prep).

McGough says he is looking forward to the start of fall drills but says camps like these can have a benefit.

“It can be repetitive but in a way, as a quarterback, you need that,” McGough said. “It’s just more competition, which is a good thing.”

The tight ends and receivers were an equally impressive bunch with Division I recruits like Vincent Jackson (Jesuit), Robert Davis (Carrollwood Day), Mike Stevenson (Clearwater Central Catholic), Xavier Johnson (Chamberlain), Alvin Bailey (Armwood) and Zach Benjamin (Tampa Catholic), all of whom either have Division I offers or have already made a commitment to a school at that level.

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