Inside George Whitfield's Spring Break Quarterback Camp

By D.J. Byrnes on March 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm

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. 

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