It was a super busy Saturday for the NWPR staff here in Portland, Oregon as we turned our attention to two seperate football events in the ever growing youth football scene. In Portland we covered the Trench Camp on and off all day as the best Big Men in the business got after it. At Noon we traveled across the mighty Columbia River to help out at the Northwest Stars Camp for youth players.
That camp was formed by Kenny Wheaton and Damon Griffin. Two Duck legends. It was a bonus to find at camp former Oregon Duck Receiver Kory Murphy and All American QB John Charles. The kids were running speed drills and ladders when we came in and while the numbers were not huge the camp was lively and the kids flying around that field.
What else would you expect from these Ducks?
Things got fired up even more when Duck Legend Josh Wilcox showed up. The legendary Tight End heard what was going down and had to show up.
"These guys told me what they were up to and you know I had to make it out," said Wilcox who played in the NFL before moving on to a career in Radio and Sports Media among other things.
We watched as this incredible group of Coaches worked it out with the kids catching passes and throwing TD's with players they never saw play let alone recognize. The camp was in mid swing when there was one more surprise in store.
Without fan fare a more current Duck player walked up and joined the Camp. Walking onto the field at Grass Valley Park in Camas, Washington was the man they call "Bane" and or "Supahman" and more commonly known as Colt Lyerla. It seems the Hillsboro graduate was watching our Twitter feed and as a long time Fan of these Ducks he was itching to get into the mix. A phone call later he was hot to come up.
"When I saw what was going on I freed up my schedule to come out. I am so glad I did," said Colt who was an immediate hit at the Camp.
The 6'5" 250 pound phenom is entering his 3rd year at Oregon after catching 32 passes for 540 yards and 11 TD's in his first 2 years as a Duck. He was just nominated for the John Mackey Award and because he averages 17 yards a catch and scores one of every 3 touches it is easy to see why he is considered a Top nominee.
Despite all of that and putting aside his Pool Jump that is going Viral and the other things going on with Colt we wanted to give him a massive shout out and credit for coming out. College is brutal. Those of us who went through it know that. College and Football is unbelievable hard. So we know there is no time for this sort of thing for most kids. The fact he came up and helped these kids is awesome and the sort of thing frankly we wish more College athletes would do; Volunteer and give back. The kids all knew who he was and were beaming as he stayed and autographed shirts and posed for pictures too.
"The kid is an incredible athlete. One of the best I have seen play the game. To see him come out was even better," said Wheaton who made the play known as "The Pick" beating the Washington Huskies and forever changing the Ducks program in the mind of many.
The same applies to these amazing Duck alum who showed up. This is a time of change in the football space and if guys like this do not show up and teach the right things and talk truth to kids about the game and its various aspects then we know it is headed to a bad place.
Watch our interview with Colt as he talks about the past, present, and future. The projected 1st Round draft choice is a humble kid form humble roots and that makes his appearance even more rewarding.