From The Sports Desk: Costa Mesa seeks Football University

When I think of big-time sporting events in Costa Mesa the Daily Pilot Cup comes to mind.

It's a great community event. The youth soccer tournament is huge locally. But there could be something bigger in the future.

Costa Mesa could be on the verge of landing an event that has the potential to be big nationwide.

By the end of month, the city might come to an agreement to have Football University bring its annual camp to Jim Scott Stadium at Estancia High.

The FBU camp would not be as large in participation, but the exposure and credibility it could give Costa Mesa would be enormous for Estancia football, Pop Warner football, and the entire district.

FBU (www.footballuniversity.org) has provided exclusive camps across the country for the past four years. FBU camps provide an opportunity that can be highly developmental for young football players aspiring to take their game to the next level.

The training clinic is coming to Orange County in June. The FBU staff might hold a camp at either Estancia or Dana Hills High.

"It would be a boost to the community serving as a fundraiser to the schools and their football programs" said Joel Williams, an area scout for FBU. "We would bring attention and bring exposure to the city."

FBU has become known over the past decade because of its association with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The 11th annual high school all-star football game was played Saturday.

In years past the game has featured current NFL players Adrian Peterson, Tim Tebow and Reggie Bush.

Like the all-star game, the FBU camps are exclusive and by invitation only. However nominations are accepted and the FBU staff will dictate invitations.

The three-day camp costs $579 per person. There are usually 200 athletes in the camp.

Fundamentals are stressed throughout the camp. There is speed and agility work, but there are also lessons taught exclusively by NFL coaches in a classroom setting.

There is also a special seminar for parents during the camp, as the FBU staff touches on various topics, such as putting together a proper highlight film. The National Collegiate Sports Assn. also provides a presentation for the parents on the college recruitment and placement process and what it takes to academically qualify at an NCAA program.

"A lot of times the parents would drop off their kids and just leave and not know what is going on in the camp," said Steve Quinn, national sales director for FBU. "Now we are holding this seminar for parents. I've had some parents say that the total registration cost was worth it for that seminar alone. It's a very interactive camp, not just for the kids but for the parents too."

FBU has recently partnered with Athletic Performance Institute. The group is known for training the NFL draft prospects each year.

The camps also provide attention to concussion awareness.

There is limited contact at the camps. In some areas of the nation they are not allowed to have contact because of local high school rules.

The FBU trainers still find ways to teach proper hitting techniques.

"The training techniques for hitting that were done in the past and done now are entirely different," said Andre Collins, a regional director for FBU. "We do teach the new techniques of the game, which are the more important parts of learning how to take a hit and how to make a tackle."

There will be three camps in Southern California. The other two will be at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village and Orange Glen High in the San Diego area. If it comes to Costa Mesa at Jim Scott Stadium, it would be a big hit.

STEVE VIRGEN is the sports editor. Reach him at steve.virgen@latimes.com.

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