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Football University: Not your average summer camp

Three-day camp offers football players advanced instruction, mimicking an NFL’s organized team activity.
by Trent Shadid Published: June 21, 2014

It’s not hard for youth and high school football players to find camps to attend over the summer.

There are hundreds taking place across the country. However, none will offer the experience provided by Football University.

The three-day camp currently being held at Casady School is one of 33 regional camps hosted by FBU this summer, with participants ranging from 6th to 11th grade.

The first thing separating FBU from the rest: Not everyone can attend. The camp has a selection process, limiting its participants to the most elite players.

“We consider ourselves an advanced football camp,” said Joe Bouffard, who is the director of the Oklahoma City camp. “This is not a camp to just come and get autographs at. There’s no sleepover, there’s no swimming. It’s really focused on football. We run these kids from eight in the morning to six o’clock at night and they’re in the classroom, lecture hall, and on the field all day.”

Bouffard says the most common way a player can receive an invitation is by visiting and nominating themselves. The camp then has scouts and coaches to evaluate the nominations before deciding on an invitation.

Another possibility is FBU’s network of scouts from across the country giving out invites based on what they see at a game. Also, being invited to one camp allows a player to return in following years without going through the selection process.

The cost is $595, which averages out to about $35 per hour. Players must choose one position at the beginning of the camp and are then assigned to a position coach, who is typically responsible for an average of 16 players.

The staff at the Oklahoma City camp has a combined 200 years of coaching experience and includes former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Ray Buchanan, 13-year NFL defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, and four-time Pro Bowl receiver Wes Chandler.

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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