Long snapper for the New York Jets and Morris Plains resident Tanner Purdum will join several other NFL players and experienced coaches to instruct at a youth football clinic at .
The clinic, which will be held from June 29 to July 1, will be run by RSR Sports Management. It's the first time the company is hosting this type of clinic. This clinic is open to all football players entering grades one through nine, and costs $300 for the three-day session.
Purdum said in the clinic's three days, campers will learn the sport's fundamentals and go through all the basic positions.
"We're doing everything; full offense, some passing, some linemen stuff, and then quarterbacks and receivers," Purdum said last week. "We'll go through snappers, returners and all basic defense positions."
Purdum said he remembers participating in clinics as young as age six while growing up as the son of a football coach. He has coached at clinics since high school and enjoys working with kids and seeing their progress.
"The biggest one for me is when kids work so hard at something that they don't think they could accomplish, and when they finally do they have that self-pride, that look on their face," Purdum said. "That speaks volumes as opposed to winning games and everything else. That's kind of the heart of it."
Purdum's father, Greg, will be one of the four coaches at the camp. Greg Purdum has more than 35 years of coaching experience, having guided both high school and college teams.
The other coaches at the clinic will be John Frangoulis, Purdum's college coach who has nearly 40 years of experience, Brian McGuire, a high school coach and former college football player, and Tom Williams, a U.S. Army veteran and speed training coach.
The clinic will run Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm, and will start with morning warm-ups and different drills each day. The players will be separated by age and each day they will have about an hour of time to play seven-on-seven games. There will also be competitions in throwing, catching, punting and running.
RSR Sports teamed with Morris Plains-based , which trains professional athletes for NFL combine. The school's speed coaches will be at the camp to teach the kids how to do 40-yard dashes, vertical jumps and agility drills.
Kids will get instruction on how to long snap from Purdum, who is entering his third year starting for the Jets. Purdum was the quarterback for Baker University, so he will also work with the quarterbacks.
Each athlete will receive an award on the final day at a ceremony, where Purdum will speak about about his experience in the NFL. The kids will also have the opportunity to get autographs and pictures with the players. Noah Keller, a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams, will also be at the clinic.
Rob Roche, the president and CEO of RSR Sports Management and NFL agent for Purdum, said he wants the kids to have a great football experience, and to leave the camp feeling good about how they play the game.
"I'd like to have every kid walk away from this camp and say, 'that was a really neat experience, meeting NFL guys, learning more about football, and I got better as a player in these three days,'" Roche said. "It should be a pretty unique experience for a kid."
Roche created the clinic with his business partner, Tom D'Ambola, and said they were inspired to start the clinic because they both have young sons and saw a need for a clinic for their age group.
"We felt the need for a good quality football camp in the area, and we thought that we could definitely get one," he said. "With my contacts with the Jets and players in the NFL, and the coaches I have access to, we thought that we could really put together a unique football experience for kids."
Purdum said this is the age when kids really figure out if they like the sport.
"It's an introductory thing for different age groups," he said. "Whether you're an 8-year-old and want to see if you like it, or you're a ninth-grader that just wants to get some good basic tips before he goes to high school."
Although this is only the first clinic, Roche said they're thinking of making a high school camp next year for older players.
For more information about the clinic, visit its Facebook page, or contact clinic director Tom D'Ambola at 973-255-8192.