Patrick Pinkney traveled across the nation to attend the NIKE camp this year. Instead of attending the closer regional combine held in Blacksburg Virginia, which is on the 17th, or one of the Florida camps last month, he flew to California this weekend to attend the NorCal Nike camp in Palo Alto on the Stanford campus.
We asked Patrick why the long trip?
"It was the only camp I could make because of my schedule. I was invited to the Elite Eleven which was on Friday and in the same place, so I was able to go ahead and go to both."
The Elite Eleven is held in July and is sponsored by Student Sports. There are eleven regionals where the top quarterbacks are invited to participate. The top performers will be invited back for the main event in July where some of college football's best quarterbacks (and the StudentSports.com staff) will provide the prospects with additional tips and advice.
Pinkney feels like he performed well at the Elite Eleven.
"Friday was the Elite Eleven. EA Sports sponsored it. It was a preliminary event and about 75 quarterbacks were there. They put me in the top group and they rotated players in and out but I stayed with the top. We threw the ball and did a lot of QB drills. The coaches told me that I had really impressed them a lot and that I have a good chance to get invited back to the July camp. They will pull out of the regions for the main camp. If I was to be invited back, that would be good. The exposure of that would be good."
On Saturday, Patrick was able to join about 500 other athletes at the Nike combine. The Nike Football Training Camps are nationally recognized as the top combines for high school football players to learn drills on how to improve speed, athleticism and on-the-field skills. It's also a means to get the low down on players such as 40 times, bench press and height and weight.
Pinkney was able to lace up his cleats and compete against some of the best that the West Coast has to offer.
"There were a lot of west coast athletes there. We were trained by the best Nike trainers in the country. I did not run the 40 but I did do the speed and agility test. I also did the quickness test. After that we broke off into positions. I think I did real well again. I was able to see how I compare to the other players from that area. I'm glad I went."
Pinkney also was able to visit the campus of Stanford while he was there. The Cardinal are one of many programs that have expressed interest in Patrick.
"It was a nice campus and the camp gave me a chance to look around. Right now, I am hearing from Florida State, UNC, NC State, Virginia and Notre Dame as well. I would say they are my top five with Florida State and NC State being my favorites. I did go to the UNC spring game and I enjoyed that too. I was impressed with how hard they were working."
None of the schools that Pinkney currently lists have offered the Pine Forest Quarterback.
"Right now, they tell me they are evaluating me. FSU, Virginia, UNC and NC State all came by my school recently. Everyone except Notre Dame. They talked to my coach and just talked about their schools."
Pinkney is a three sport athlete who excels in football, basketball, and baseball. He was a Two Rivers All-Conference performer last year as he led the Trojans to an 8-3 record which earned them a spot in the 4A state play-offs.
Patrick finished the season with 643 yards (6.0 YPC) rushing on 108 carries, posting a 58 yards per game average and also 10 rushing touchdowns. He completed 49% (67 for 137) of his passes for 958 yards (14.3 yard average); while throwing 7 Touchdowns and 8 Interceptions.