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NFL Program Gives Prep Players Pro Experience

8:32 PM, Jun. 07, 2013 EDT

Story & Reporting by Diane Roberts, @DianesTalking

POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA 9) -- Imagine being in high school, having a skill you'd like to hone and getting extra guidance in it -- for free.

That's one of the ideas behind the NFL High School Player Development program. It takes place April through August on high school campuses across the country. Recently, it made a stop at Bullis High School in Montgomery County, Maryland.

the program is a partnership between the NFL and the National Guard. Bullis head football coach Pat Cilento has been the regional director for seven years.

"We're getting back in the flow and juices of football," said Cilento.

And students in Montgomery County aren't the only ones. Camps like this are going on all across the country and the idea is to give players some intense time to work on their fundamentals.

Players get a full 25 minutes working on their skill position, not available at practice during the season. Besides fancy footwork, the student-athletes learn about concussion awareness and character development during the five day camp.

"This camp has a lot of good coaches that work with us individually and not just as one team," said Walter Johnson running back Greg Battle.

Some of the coaches, like Bullis' Anthony Waters, are NFL veterans who share wisdom with the young hopefuls.

"Whatever work you put into this is exactly what you'll get out of it, so when you're feeling lazy and think it's too hot, those should be the times you're pushing yourself," said Waters.

Players get the message and will put this practice into play when high school football season starts in the fall.



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