Gesser eyes next team, but focuses on camps

JASON GESSER IS no longer the Hurlin' Hawaiian. Call him The Juggler. He's a pro quarterback. A high school offensive coordinator. An analyst for Fox Sports Northwest. And the director of two youth camps that are coming up in Bellevue on August 2-3. Always a relationship builder, leave it to Gesser to bring both WSU's Gary Rogers and UW's Jake Locker on board as guest coaches for the camps.

"I'm just doing my part to bridge the barrier between Cougars and Huskies," Gesser joked the other day amid preparations for the Jason Gesser Elite QB and Skills Camps, which will be held at Interlake High.

Students entering grades 9-to-12 this fall will gather on Aug. 2 and youngsters between ages 7 and 13 will work out on Aug. 3. The focus both days will be on the quarterback, receiver, tight end and running back positions.

Rogers, who is confirmed, and Locker, who is tentative, aren't the only celebrities Gesser is looking to have assist him. Also on tap will be WSU All-American candidate Brandon Gibson, former WSU All-American and NFL quarterback Jack Thompson, and former WSU and NFL receiver Milton Wynn. In addition, one-time Cougar and current Western Washington quarterback Cole Morgan will be there and Lamont Thompson, the former WSU All-American and long-time NFL safety, is a possibility.

Prep coaches from the region also will be there.

"I didn't start playing football until eighth grade," said the former Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. "If I'd had access to something like this, it would have been huge. These camps represent a great opportunity for both high school players and the younger kids to improve their play and learn skills from truly outstanding instructors. And the cost makes this one of the best values around."

Each camp runs a full day, starting with registration at 8 a.m. The cost is $60 per player. To register, CLICK HERE..

AFTER ONE SEASON each in the NFL and CFL, Gesser has spent the last three years as a back up for the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League. He's a free agent now and looking for a chance to become a starter. Arizona and Dallas are two possibilities.

"I really love playing still and know I can be a starter. The beauty of the AFL is that it allows me to play and coach," Gesser said.

This fall, Gesser enters his third year of high school coaching and second year as offensive coordinator at Tacoma's Franklin Pierce High. Last season the Cardinals went 12-1, losing in the state semifinals to eventual 3A champion Skyline.

"Coaching last year really lit a fire for me," Gesser said. "I can make a difference with kids. Ever since I've been playing I've been taking guys under my wing. It's a coach's mentality – it's just something I have within me."

And that's why, with free agency upon him, he's hosting the Aug. 2-3 camps rather than worrying about where he'll take his next snap.

"This is an opportunity to help the young guys reach their fullest potential in a sport that offers so many life lessons about teamwork, commitment and sacrifice," said Gesser, who finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting in 2002. "You can't put that off until tomorrow. You must act now."

To register, click here.

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