Inside George Whitfield's Spring Break Quarterback Camp

March 19, 2014 at 12:31p    by DJ Byrnes    
7 Comments

George Whitfield is a quarterback guru, who has helped numerous quarterbacks including Ohio State's Braxton Miller. But what exactly does a quarterback guru do? Sports Illustrated took an in-depth dive into Whitfield's much-ballyhooed Spring Break quarterback camp:

SAN DIEGO -- On the morning of March 10 -- the Monday of their spring break -- while many of their classmates (and maybe some of their teammates) were sleeping off the previous night's party, a group of college quarterbacks sat in a semicircle and lobbed questions at a guy with a proven quarterbacking and partying track record. Johnny Manziel had just arrived to resume his training for a pro day at Texas A&M on March 27. He is where those 13 quarterbacks want to be, so they wanted to know how to get there.

Virginia quarterback David Watford wanted to know the biggest change Manziel made in the 2012 offseason that helped him with the starting job in College Station. Manziel explained that he learned to keep his left elbow tucked during his delivery, which cured a number of mechanical issues. It also provided Johnny Football with something he lacked in spring practice that year. "I just needed confidence," Manziel told the quarterbacks.

Every player who had given up his vacation for this week of quarterback boot camp needed something different. Back in Charlottesville, Watford is locked in a competition with Greyson Lambert to win the starting job that Watford held for all of last season. Watford wanted to learn to engage his lower body more and stop relying entirely on his DC Comics-like upper body -- the man will never be able to buy a suit off the rack -- to power the ball to his receivers. Meanwhile, North Carolina's Marquise Williams wanted an overall mechanical assessment that would help him target individual issues between now and the start of a promising season in which he will likely take over for departed starter Bryn Renner. Bryce Petty, the starter at defending Big 12 champ Baylor and a potential Heisman Trophy contender, wanted a refresher course to ensure that he keeps making progress. So did Taylor Kelly, the incumbent Arizona State quarterback who led the Sun Devils to the Pac-12 South title last season. Incoming freshmen Jerrod Heard (Texas) and David Morrison (Ball State) wanted to hone their skills before they enter open competitions at their respective schools. Meanwhile, West Virginia redshirt freshman walk-on Storm McPherson hoped to acquire some knowledge that could help him climb the depth chart in an open quarterback competition in Morgantown.

The whole thing is a fascinating look into the year-long grind that goes into being a top tier Division I quarterback, and the world in which George Whitfield has carved out for himself in order to make a living. 


7 Comments

Comments

teddyballgame's picture

I'm curious who pays for this guy and what does he cost?

DJ Byrnes's picture

This is something I've always wondered too, Teddy. I would assume it'd be the families of these kids. As for the rate, I'd suspect it's pretty handsome.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

My son attended one of his regional "Black ops" camps - came out a different QB - cost was $650, there were 12 other High School qb's there working over 2 days, great investment.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I read a pretty interesting article on Cleveland.com about Whitfield a couple weeks back that everyone should read, and they listed his rates per session as:

Whitfield’s sessions cost $150 for preps, $300 for collegians and are negotiable with pros.

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/03/what_enabled_massillons_george.html

 

+3 HS
JollyFatMan's picture

I met him when he stopped by my Alma Mater, Tiffin University, for a visit a few years back. He seems like a great guy but as far as his services are concerned.. interesting to say the least. 

How firm thy friendship..

+1 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

He's one of those guys I don't get. Sure he does different stuff and gets the guys out of their comfort zone, but so what? I've read a lot about him and his methods and I just don't get it.

I've never played QB in anything more important that a backyard football game, so maybe I just don't understand it all because of my utter lack of experience. I just don't see the guys he works with coming back as all new better quarterbacks. 

-1 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

It's like how EVERYBODY gets into a fad...Atkins Diet, TaeBo, P90X, Thigh Master, Stone Washed Jeans...Whitfield QB clinics.

He basically came on the scene with out of the box quaterbacking drills with the main focus being chaos in the pocket.  I believe I read where he was doing some studies and the percentage of passes where there was chaos in the pocket was astronomically higher than any other throw in football, at any level.  Its almost never just 3,5,or 7 steps and boom a throwing lane.  Bodies, arms, harm all around. None of the drills he was seeing simulated that and/or prepared a QB for those situation and muscle memory. Thats why you always see clips of him running around with brooms and guys trying to set in ocean waves.  His early street cred came way via Ben Roethliesberger....probably the NW Ohio connection there.

Anyhow, his theories sound awesome on paper.  But who can really tell what impact he is making on these players versus their actual skills and work ethic?  Again though, interesting concept and study...I guess I'll believe the hype due to his clientele and $$$$$$$$$$$ demands.

-1 HS