FLORENCECS – It’s not every day that a young football player gets to learn skills from some of the best guys at the top college level.
That doubles for picking up a few things from a potential Heisman Trophy contender.
But that’s exactly what a group of about 75 local kids got to do on Saturday at Wilson High School’s Tiger Stadium at the Zacch Pickens football camp.
Pickens, USC’s standout defensive lineman, brought a number of his teammates with him, including new Gamecock quarterback Spencer Rattler.
Rattler has been in the spotlight since moving to USC from Oklahoma, and Saturday was no different as he was understandably one of the most sought-after players by campers.
“It’s a blessing,” Rattler said of fame. “A lot of people don’t have that in their lives and I just want to inspire the young (kids) – that’s why I’m here right now with them.”
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The free camp was open to all students in grades one through eight, as they were put through plenty of offensive and defensive drills throughout the morning. Wilson’s coaches and players helped run camp and drills with several Gamecocks, including MarShawn Lloyd, Alex “Boogie” Huntley and Tonka Hemingway.
“It’s a great experience to be able to have Zacch here and bring some of his teammates,” Tigers coach Rodney Mooney said. “It has been an honour. We had a very good turnout from the kids here – I think we were just around 75, 80 kids. So for them to go out and see guys who are successful and continue to be successful…I think that’s great.
Football aside, the biggest thing Pickens himself wanted was for the campers to simply have a fun day.
“To have fun, get out and enjoy the day, really,” added Pickens. “…Just to come here and make new friends – make a connection. They’re at that age now where they should start building like a little friendship. And that’s how football starts… all the friends get together and you play in that team and go from there.