Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Road to Pro Football takes a path through SWFL

WINK NEWS TV, Mike Walcher

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The road to the National Football League is cutting through Southwest Florida. Some top college football players are gathering in Collier County for an intensive training camp. The goal: a better chance at making the NFL.

"Oh man, to come from Immokalee and to have this dream your entire life, and now to have a chance to make it reality, it is utterly amazing," said Aaron Henry, an Immokalee High graduate who played football at the Univ. of Wisconsin. "I want to work on my times and skills and show the NFL coaches what I can do. I am really excited."

Henry and other players are working out six days at week in Collier, under the guidance of Ignition Athletic Performance Group of Ohio.

"I came here to be humble, hard-working and coachable. I am just trying to be the best that I can be," said Buddy Jackson, who played at the Univ. of Pittsburgh.

Agents for the players pay an average of 10-thousand dollars for each young man to participate in the training. The players stay in a hotel in the Naples area and use Jason's deli and a catering service for meals.

"It does help the local economy. We also have the players use local spa's and doctors," said Clif Marshall, who runs the training operation for Ignition. The company pays Collier County for the use of a field at North Collier Regional Park and for weight-lifting access at a building on the park grounds. Players also have access to swimming pools at Barron-Collier High School.

"I am so happy to help these players. If we can cut hundredths of a second off their drill times or their dash times, we can help the young man make a lot of money," said Marshall.

"We train the body, mind and spirit, and it takes determination and discipline to do all those things. But it seems to help the players, who may be anxious about what is going to happen next in their lives," added Marshall.

Many of the players will head to Indianopolis next week for the NFL Combine. That's an event where coaches and scouts interview players and then time their drills and check their strength in lifting weights. The NFL draft occurs in April.

Copy and Paste link for full video: LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The road to the National Football League is cutting through Southwest Florida. Some top college football players are gathering in Collier County for an intensive training camp. The goal: a better chance at making the NFL.

"Oh man, to come from Immokalee and to have this dream your entire life, and now to have a chance to make it reality, it is utterly amazing," said Aaron Henry, an Immokalee High graduate who played football at the Univ. of Wisconsin. "I want to work on my times and skills and show the NFL coaches what I can do. I am really excited."

Henry and other players are working out six days at week in Collier, under the guidance of Ignition Athletic Performance Group of Ohio.

"I came here to be humble, hard-working and coachable. I am just trying to be the best that I can be," said Buddy Jackson, who played at the Univ. of Pittsburgh.

Agents for the players pay an average of 10-thousand dollars for each young man to participate in the training. The players stay in a hotel in the Naples area and use Jason's deli and a catering service for meals.

"It does help the local economy. We also have the players use local spa's and doctors," said Clif Marshall, who runs the training operation for Ignition. The company pays Collier County for the use of a field at North Collier Regional Park and for weight-lifting access at a building on the park grounds. Players also have access to swimming pools at Barron-Collier High School.

"I am so happy to help these players. If we can cut hundredths of a second off their drill times or their dash times, we can help the young man make a lot of money," said Marshall.

"We train the body, mind and spirit, and it takes determination and discipline to do all those things. But it seems to help the players, who may be anxious about what is going to happen next in their lives," added Marshall.

Many of the players will head to Indianopolis next week for the NFL Combine. That's an event where coaches and scouts interview players and then time their drills and check their strength in lifting weights. The NFL draft occurs in April.

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