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Former Texas Tech QB Harrell's passing camp continues to grow

Expansion means more coaches, another day to learn from former Red Raider

Posted: July 12, 2013 - 5:19pm  |  Updated: July 13, 2013 - 12:29am
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell talks with students during his passing camp on Friday at Frenship. (Zach Long/A-J Media)  Zach Long
Zach Long
Green Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell talks with students during his passing camp on Friday at Frenship. (Zach Long/A-J Media)
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The Super Bowl ring is coming out.

Sam Harrell, legendary Texas high school football coach and father of former Texas Tech quarterback and current Green Bay Packer quarterback Graham Harrell, announced that campers can arrive to camp early today to hold and have their pictures made with Graham’s Super Bowl XLV ring from 2011.

“When you tell them they get excited, and when they see it they really have fun,” Graham said. “We let them hold it, take pictures with it, do whatever they want. So that’s fun to see the kids get excited about that. Hopefully I’ll win some more or someone in this camp some day can win one. But it’s a neat deal for them and it’s a neat deal for me, as well.”

Graham, brothers Zac and Clark and father Sam have returned to Frenship High School to put on the Graham Harrell Passing School.

The decision was made this year to split the campers up in two different groups: sixth through eight graders in one group and ninth through 12th graders in the latter.

The junior high campers work from 8 a.m. to noon, and the high school campers go from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Due to the split sessions, the Harrells decided to expand the camp from two to three days.

“The camp was growing so we split them up,” Graham said. “It’s going well so far. We like the schedule. It provides a little more individual attention for the kids. Hopefully we get to stick with it.”

Because the enrollment increased, the coaching staff needed to increase, as well.

With the goal of the camp to give each camper individual attention, the camper-to-coach ratio needed to be low.

“Both my brothers, who are coaches, my dad, who’s a coach ... it’s really kind of a Harrell passing camp but they put my name on it because my name is a little bigger than theirs,” Graham said. “[There’s] all four of us, and then we have former college players, pretty much former college or current college players and high school coaches are who’s working with us.”

The camp focuses on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage: quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.

At the end of every day, the coaches present the campers with different competitions.

“The little competition we do at the end of each day, I really enjoy because you get to see kids get excited, compete a little bit,” Graham said. “I throw all the receivers balls during that. That’s fun to do. And then to see all the quarterbacks compete, trying to hit goal posts, trying to drop it in buckets, trying to make it in nets, things like that, they get excited when they make it. I always get excited seeing them do that, but seeing the improvement is what it’s all about.”

Graham himself is looking for improvement as he enters fall camp with the Packers, looking to keep his position as Aaron Rodgers’ backup

“I thought we had a great offseason and OTA time,” Graham said. “That went really well for me. I’m further along. I’ve been in this system a year longer so I’m excited about this upcoming camp and preseason and hope for big things.”

In the meantime, Graham and his company of coaches took the time to work with 109 kids on their football skills.

The goal of the camp, while improvement is important, is the focus on individual attention for each and every camper.

With all the coaching IQ on one field, the Harrells want each kid to feel invested in.

“That’s the goal of the camp is to give them individual attention,” Graham said. “We can give them coaching and try to make them better. That’s the goal every time. It is for me to spend individual time with all the campers and also for us to have quite a big staff so that the campers get some individual attention, individual work with coaches. That’s the goal of the camp, and I think it’s gone well so far.”

The kids think so too, running up to Graham after camp has ended with footballs and Sharpies.

Imagine the experience these kids are having. They get to go to a camp with a Division I, Big 12 quarterback — who holds multiple NCAA records, plays in the NFL and has a Super Bowl ring.

krista.pirtle@lubbockonline.com

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