The Next Level football program is not your average football camp. In fact the kids who participate are gaining a deeper knowledge of the game with the help of a couple instructors who know what it's like to compete on the big stage.
Many high school athletes dream of having a career in football. But sometimes natural skill isn't enough. It takes a little more.
"The TNL camps as a whole are really trying to teach kids that the hard work that goes into sports is really what gets them to the next level," said Eisenhower Assistant Coach John Herbert. "Really the main idea of the camp is to teach the basic skills of a position but then to also compete one-on-one where we have wide receivers going against defensive backs, offensive line versus defensive line, etc. Teaching kids that the drills in the early parts of practice really translate over to the one-on-one battles."
The TNL camps aren't just run by local coaches. They get help from some players already at the next level, like Oklahoma Sooner defensive back Javon Harris
"Basically I just come out here and show guys, you know, different little things you don't learn in high school, things that you don't really have time to learn," Harris said. "When you get to the next level, you spend 24/7 on specific things, on that one specific drill, on that one specific position. Guys are going to listen to you, especially to a guy who's still learning."
That kind of instruction has hit home with several of the campers.
"It's pretty cool, getting to meet people that have gone and done what they love to do in the sport and showing us how that hard work and dedication can get us up that way," said Elgin junior Dylan Andres.