Glenwood defensive back Navy Harris decided he wanted to get some more work in on a football field Saturday. Thanks to the training program i-Dare U, he and other Muscogee County athletes didn’t have to go far to make that happen.
Harris was one of over 150 high school players who participated in the i-Dare U Southwest Exposure Camp at Kinnett Stadium. The athletes went through position-specific drills during the three-hour camp and also got to compete in some 1-on-1 showdowns near the end of the day.
The camp being so close to home was a rarity for Harris but was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“It’s really right down the street from my house, so we got up at 9, came up and registered,” Harris said. “It wasn’t a long drive or anything.”
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Another player working alongside Harris with the defensive backs was Jordan’s Emmanuel Mann, who plays quarterback for the Red Jackets. Mann played defensive back as a freshman and was moved to the spot by the i-Dare U coaches for the day’s work.
Mann spoke highly of the coaches on hand, saying they taught him step by step how to play defensive back. Those tips will likely come in handy when he’s behind center, as he’ll be able to key in on those techniques the defenders are supposed to display.
Mann caught the eye of some of the recruiting writers who were intently watching the action, something that wouldn’t have happened had the camp been held elsewhere. Mann said he had a busy afternoon ahead, so having the event in Columbus was the only way he could have shown up.
“Every camp I go to is out of town,” Mann said. “I’m glad I could just go up the street, come to the camp and show out.”
Mann wasn’t the only Muscogee County kid to turn some heads at the camp. Carver junior defensive lineman Dacorrion West showed off his skills and also got some reps playing on the offensive line. Thanks to his work in the camp, West has been invited to play for Georgia’s team in the TRUE 19/TRUE 2.0 All-Star showcase in January.
“It’s very exciting and very motivating,” West said of his invite. “It boosts my status and makes me want to work harder.”
Glenn Ford, i-Dare U’s CEO, had long hoped to bring his program, which is based in Atlanta, back to his hometown. The Carver High School alum was pleased with the raw talent he spotted at the camp, adding the attendance was really the thing that jumped out.
“This was great,” Ford said. “We had all the kids who registered and came in, and then we had some walk-ups. For the first time, to have over 150 kids, that’s tremendous. I appreciate them for coming.”
Ford has been outspoken in his aspirations to make Columbus a second location for i-Dare U’s training services. Though it’s too early to tell when that could come to fruition, the work and efforts of the players and coaches Saturday certainly left Ford feeling optimistic.
“It’s so promising now,” Ford said. “Even the writers, they’re like, ‘Hey, we need to continue to do this.’ It’s only going to get bigger with the kids we’ve seen out here. It’s just amazing for them to come out like this, and I’m happy for them.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports