Thirteen years ago, quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson and a group of families whose sons he tutored, including Matt Leinart, Jimmy Clausen and Ben Roethlisberger, decided to make a Memorial Day weekend getaway to Santa Barbara.
“They had an annual chalk festival over at the mission in Santa Barbara,” Clarkson said. “So we were really going for the most part just to go hang out by the pool and go look at some art and throw a football around.”
In between, Clarkson and his college proteges instructed a group of young quarterbacks. It was a small, mostly casual event.
“It kept growing,” Clarkson said.
The camp has become an annual event. Clarkson, who has since become one of the country’s best-known quarterback tutors, will hold this year’s camp on Saturday at Coronado High School, near San Diego. The two-day event camp is at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
And it is slightly bigger than the original. In the camp’s 13th year, Clarkson expects 75 campers from 38 different states, plus Mexico, including local recruits like USC commit Matt Corral of Long Beach Poly and California signee Chase Garbers of Corona del Mar.
Admission is free for spectators, who will have an opportunity to see local college rivals coaching together on the same field.
To run the camp, Clarkson employs a group of counselors from colleges across the country. Organizers are prohibited by NCAA rules from publishing the names of the college quarterbacks, but in recent years counselors have included Clemson’s DeShaun Watson, USC’s Max Browne and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. They are paid $100 per day to work eight hours.
"It also helps them to get ready for that one day that they may hopefully get in front of Jon Gruden, where they're able to go through all their Xs and Os and their schematics and their check-downs,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson said he expects quarterbacks from colleges including USC and UCLA.
Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand