Michael Vick to host summer football camp on Delmarva – Delmarva Daily Times
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Tuesday wasn’t the first time that Michael Vick had been on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Vick spent five seasons of his 13-year NFL career playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, and anytime he needed to go to his native home in Newport News, Virginia, he’d travel down the Eastern Shore. Vick spent a lot of time driving up and down Route 13.
But on April 12, Vick wasn’t just passing through.
“I never really knew about this area until I got to Philadelphia,” Vick said on Tuesday at Peaky’s Restaurant in Princess Anne. “I thought the Eastern Shore was a beautiful area. Very nice, quiet and scenic. I’ve stopped in Ocean City a few times.”
“I just thought it would be a nice place to have a football camp.”
Vick stopped by Cambridge-South Dorchester High School and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday to promote a youth football camp that he hopes to host on the Shore this summer.
Vick and Darnell Clash met with UMES president Juliette Bell on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of hosting the “Maryland’s Eastern Shore All-Star Football Camp hosted by Michael Vick” on the campus of the school this summer. The camp has no official affiliation with UMES.
“We just wanted to iron out the details because there is a lot that goes into hosting a football camp,” Vick said. “There are a lot of moving parts, so you have to make sure everything checks out and you want to make sure you don’t leave any stones unturned.”
UMES did not confirm if the camp will be hosted on the campus this summer.
“Mr. Clash and Mr. Vick visited UMES to meet with university officials to explore opportunities to benefit area youth,” said Bill Robinson, UMES’ director of public relations. “Details are still being worked out.”
Clash is a 1980 graduate of Cambridge-South Dorchester who played college football at the University of Wyoming. He then played professionally in the Canadian Football League, then briefly for the New Orleans Saints of the NFL. He is the president of the camp.
After his football career was over, Clash worked as a luxury car salesman, which is how he met Vick and several other professional athletes.
“Mike is a really personable guy,” Clash said. “To have been through what he has and come back from that and be able to hold his head high really showed his character.”
“Darnell is a good friend of mine and played ball here back in the 70’s,” Vick said. “He wanted to bring something different to the community that he grew up in and I think it’s a great idea to bring a camp here. I’m looking forward to hosting a camp somewhere other than Virginia. Maybe next year I’ll have one in Atlanta.”
Clash said the leaders in the camp are debating on whether the camp should be one practice a day or three. Three practices a day would require campers to stay overnight.
The camp is non-contact and will take place over the course of three days. Ages eight to 18 are invited. Pricing has not been set yet.
Clash said that they are aiming for the camp to be held July 7-9 this summer and he hopes to host a golf tournament on July 6 at the Great Hope Golf Course in Westover.
Clash said the goal is to teach campers not just about football skills on the field, but also about proper nutrition, weight training techniques, fundamentals and the work that has to be done in the classroom.
“The teaching aspect is what I specialize in,” Vick said. “I just want to give kids the tools and fundamentals to be the best football player they can be. I’d like to coach at some point.”
Now 35 years old, Vick’s NFL career is winding down. He spent last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and started three games while Ben Roethlisburger nursed an injury. Over the season for the Steelers, Vick completed 40 of 66 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 20 times for 99 yards.
Vick is a four-time pro bowler and was selected as the 2010 Comeback Player of the Year. He has recorded the most rushing yards of any quarterback in NFL history.
Vick has said in previous interviews that he plans on the 2016-17 season being his final year of playing. He is currently a free agent.
“I’d like to spend some time talking about the game. I feel like I know a lot about football, so some form of broadcasting could be in my future,” Vick said. “I’m looking forward to just staying involved. Football is my life.”
Vick said he plans on reaching out to Eastern Shore native and NFL running back Ben Tate about attending the camp this summer. Tate is also a free agent.
To some, hosting a football camp on the campus of a university that hasn’t played the sport since 1979 may seem a little strange. But Vick thinks it could be “kind of cool,” if the camp is hosted at UMES.
“Maybe it will inspire some more people to help bring (football) back (to UMES),” Vick said. “As long as there is a grass field, it doesn’t matter where you have a camp.”