Nebraska holds first ever "QB Elite" Camp

The first "Elite" QB camp at Nebraska began and there was a definite buzz in the air. Enough of one that over a dozen members of the media were in attendance along with the 40+ campers. Harrison Beck was coming to town. After announcing that he would be a Husker, the Florida QB has become the talk of the town. Well, now Beck is in town showing everyone just what he can do.

I knew that the first day of camp would be very Harrison-centric. Despite the nice size class of almost 50 campers in attendance, it would be Beck that would be getting the Lion's share of the media focus.

Harrison.jpg - 85215 BytesAnd true to that, there were photographers, TV reporters, beat-writers and recruiting guys abound to watch Beck, talk to Beck, take pictures of Beck and most everyone hung around after this first part of practice was done so that everyone could get in their Q & As. It wasn't a major issues for the Sunshine State star though as he's simply taking it in stride. "The attention is fine." Harrison said. "I'm just going to continue to do what I have been doing that got me in this spot in the first place. I'm just going to work hard, hang out with my teammates, enjoy my Senior year and hopefully we can lead them to a state championship."

With all the attention Beck was getting, this seemed almost like a shore more than it was a camp. But, it was a camp, a time where each player had a chance to show what they could do, but learn how to possibly do them better.

To that end, throughout the various drills, the quarterbacks were asked to take drop-back drills, throwing from 3 and 5-step drops. They were going through hand-drills, footwork drills and the myriad stations all designed to test their physical and mental acuity along with helping to improve their technique.

Within the drills though, kids will be kids and everyone wants to do better than the rest. With certain drills, points were allotted for hitting a certain amount of targets. In the 3 and 5-step drop drills, there were three nets on either side of the field, each player's score reflective of just how close they could get.

Beck didn't top the group. To be frank, Harrison probably didn't finish in the top ten, tallying a total of 4 points throughout the drill. "I think I was a little nervous during that." Beck stated. "I don't know, maybe I was a little tight."

Harrison1.jpg - 65730 Bytes
Harrison competes in a passing
drill with junior QB, Brian Gralheer
looking on.
Possibly, but as tight as Beck was in that drill, he was the polar opposite in the 40-yard dash. Not noted for his blazing speed as Beck found out when he reeled off a 4.67, the 16 year old in him came out for everyone to see. Bouncing around as if he had won the lottery, Beck almost ran as fast back to the line he came from as he did when he ran the 40 itself. It was his fastest 40-time ever. "That's the first time I cracked 4.7 right there." Beck stated. "So, I was pretty excited. I was pretty stoked. Now I can go back and brag a little bit to my teammates."

There is this slight matter of the approximately 15 mph tailwind Beck had helping him to the sub 4.7 mark, but if you ask Beck, he'll say ‘what wind?'. "I'm not going to tell them about that." Beck said laughingly. "I am going to tell them that it was against the wind."

The levity aside, while Beck was indeed having fun, this was kind of a business trip as well. It certainly was for the rest of the campers that weren't getting the adoration that Harrison has received almost from the moment he arrived on campus in Lincoln.

And for those, there's already a few names that you might want to mark down as ones to watch this year.

BlakeCover.jpg - 51880 BytesBlake Cover - Out of Kearney Catholic, Cover showed a lot of good stuff in the drills. What I liked the most, at least early on in this process was his smooth delivery of the ball. While some quarterbacks have a tendency to stop in their motion when the ball is cocked all the way back, Cover was very fluid in that he brought it back up and through all in one nice smooth action.

Pretty good feet, solid elusiveness and a good arm, Cover's senior year should be a good one for Kearney Catholic and he bears watching a lot more.



BrandonEllis.jpg - 53206 BytesBrandan Ellis - The strongest arm contest is tomorrow and here's one of my early favorites to challenge Harrison Beck for the title. He's got a gun. No, actually it's a cannon. Plus, Ellis has a lightning-fast delivery. His accuracy is good, even when moving around and this young man throws with a lot of confidence under his belt.

The footwork isn't the best, but that is something that can be addressed over time. I think Ellis has a nice upside and we'll probably see that a little more as camp progresses.


JoshFreeman.jpg - 69138 BytesJosh Freeman - Outside of Beck, if you remember one name, this is the one. Standing 6'6", this Missouri native showed everything and the kitchen sink. I mean, you want it and for someone his size, Josh more than delivers.

A strong arm, a great delivery, pretty solid feet for someone his age (he's just going to be a Junior this year) and he's got a little of that Harrison Beck-type exuberance for the game. Seriously folks, this kid is one helluva QB and you don't have to look at his written offers he's already gotten from Missouri and Kansas to verify that.

You just have to watch. If there is an early favorite out of those I have seen thus far, Freeman is my "lock" for an NU offer. This kid is flat out good.

There's lots of good slingers there though and despite the lack of big names, the quality of the quarterbacks seems to be very intact. A lot of great arms, some with great feet and some with a little of both. We'll continue to cover all of them as we go through the three day session, but we'll finish this camp update with a little observation of you know who.

I don't know if you or anyone would expect Harrison to dominate the competition while he was here. I suppose some might, but with so many quality kids and some days simply being better days than others, Beck shouldn't have been the player to beat. Only, his being a future Husker made that plainly obvious.

Though Harrison started off a little tight, there was one drill that Jay Norvell ran that illustrated to you just when Beck is at his best. Basically, it was two players running around like chickens with their heads cut off, throwing the ball from as many unorthodox postures as possible.

Sound familiar? Does that sound like something you have heard describing Beck?

It should and it has been, but Beck proved just what it takes to get him going. Side-to-side he ran, sprinting horizontally across the field, firing the ball back the other way on a rope to the QB around 20 yards away. That QB threw it back, both still running while all this is taking place, Beck juking back the other way, twisting his body a little and firing another bullet straight into the numbers.

You only had to look on Beck's face to see that he was in the moment, as they say, focused, fiery and flinging that ball in with some serious intentions. Heck, they practically couldn't get him to stop, Beck calling out ‘One more!' repeatedly, wanting to play a little more run n' catch with his portner, Shawn Long.

To me, that was it. I saw Beck in the element he likes the most and it's perfectly indicative of his personality. If you can't script it, can't plan for it and don't expect it, that's when Beck likes it the most. He lives for improvisation.

Harrison2.jpg - 65913 Bytes

Harrison Beck's arm-strength has
been curiously debated. Beck
proved just a little of that impressive
arm strength tonight, but he'll have
his real chance tomorrow as all the
QBs take the field in a throw-off to
see just who has the strongest arm
in camp.

Oh and about that arm of his. I watched the film and said that anyone who said he had a marginal arm shouldn't have a job. Well, Beck only backed that statement up, Harrison tossing a ball from the 40 on the other side of the field, the ball eventually hitting the uprights. Yeah, that's right. From 60 yards away, Beck hit the crossbar of the uprights.

Beck will have his chance to prove just how strong that arm of his is though, tomorrow as the quarterbacks compete in the strongest arm in camp competition. It's one that has already prompted a bit of jawing back and forth. And yes, Harrison had to add his two cents as well, stating to coach Norvell himself ‘I just want you to know that it's in the bag, jot it down, I'm taking it tomorrow'.

And until tomorrow, we'll adjourn, but the QB coverage is just getting warmed up. This was a trickle as you knew along with everyone else that this was the day everyone wanted to know what Harrison Beck was doing. Yes, it will be like that for the entire camp, but we'll hit more players, potential stars and see just who can fling the ball the farthest.

Oh, and if you are in the neighborhood, check it out as it's open to the public to attend. Practice starts at 10:30 A.M. with the "throw-off" scheduled for apprx. 11:30 in the morning.

Come on down and join the fun!

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