Sports

Late-bloomer Kent hopes to inspire youth at football camp

Jordan Kent was always in catch-up mode on the football field.

That’s because the former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and three-sport star at the University of Oregon was a late-bloomer on the gridiron; he played football his final two years with the Ducks in addition to excelling at basketball and track and field.

The Seahawks liked his athleticism and talents enough to make him a sixth-round draft pick in 2007.

Kent, who was released by the St. Louis Rams in September, hopes his NFL career isn’t over.

Since last fall, Kent has been working to develop Edge Combines, a technique camp that addresses individual skill development in high school football players, something Kent said he thinks can be lacking at that level.

His two-day clinic comes to South Sound this week as part of a 12-stop tour around Northwest high schools. The area stop will be Wednesday and Thursday at Black Hills High School.

The clinic, which in its inaugural stint is for offensive players only, is from noon-4 p.m. both days and open for all players entering ninth through 12 grades.

It’s modeled after the NFL’s offseason OTA (organized team activities), meaning no hitting or pads.

The fee for the two-day camp is $89.99, which includes T-shirts, refreshments and prizes, including chances to win an iPod shuffle. Pre-registration can be found online at www.edgecombines.com or in person the first day of the camp.

“I really want to teach high school kids the fundamentals on the NFL level,” Kent said. “As a receiver, I knew how to run a slant route, but when I got to the NFL, it was crazy of how to be technical with it. I wish I knew that stuff in college.”

Kent’s clinic focuses on improving player’s skills – offering tests like the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump to name a few – rather than emphasizing the hype from third-party companies who provide star ratings.

Kent gave as an example last season’s All-Pacific-10 Conference team. Of the 22 honorees, zero were five-star recruits out of high school. Only four were four-star recruits.

“I want to provide a blueprint for how they have to work hard to be the best they can be,” Kent said. “We want to show kids it’s not about getting your foot in the door for college. It’s about working your tail off and creating your exposure.”

Besides Kent, other instructors will include Meadow Lemon and his son Chase, both currently coaching at Lewis and Clark College; former Linfield College running back Simon Lamson and former WSU tight end Zach Tatman.

Kent described his clinic as a “pretty exciting” atmosphere, with music playing throughout and “no dead time.”

“Every kid is going to get critiqued on every rep he does,” Kent said. “I want our brand to represent professionalism, entertainment and hard work with results.”

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473

mwochnick@theolympian.com

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