NORMAN — Tiny hands raised in the air as one large hand of an NFL quarterback gave out high fives.
Former Sooners star Sam Bradford smiled as a ring of boys and girls waited for encouragement. They patiently stood in their grey shirts, high socks and eye black, with their arms stretched, as their parents snapped photos from the sideline.
This was Day 1 of The Old Spice Sam Bradford Football ProCamp, a two-day camp that caters to kids. Sprinkled in with 30 of the area's top prep football coaches and Bradford were some of his St. Louis Rams' teammates like Brian Quick, Austin Pettis and Danny Amendola, all out to help the kids.
“Norman's a place I love,” Bradford said as he watched the camp from a tent during a break. “I went to a ton of camps around the city. I remember coming down here for OU football and basketball camps.
“I remember those really being the highlights of my summer and I just really hope these kids are able to come out here and learn some things from me and my teammates, but also just to have fun.”
Amendola, a former wide receiver at Texas Tech, was glad to join Bradford on Sooner Turf, even with the history of the two programs.
“When we'd usually come here, we'd lose but given I say that, we'd win when they came to Lubbock,” Amendola said laughing. “But really, it's good to help him with his camp. … I'm a rival, but there's more than that when you're trying to help kids.”
The campers ran drills and caught passes, but they learned more than just x's and o's or how to become a future Heisman-trophy winner. Bradford, or Coach Bradford as he was called at the camp, taught the campers three important things about the game: to encourage people and say good job, to have good sportsmanship and that teamwork is always the answer.