Earlier this month, Nebraska hosted its first ever full-padded team camp. The goal of the camp was to provide players and teams an opportunity to improve their game by working on the fundamentals and skills of football. It was also a great opportunity for competition to take place in a controlled environment.
One school that was in attendance for the camp was Omaha’s Creighton Prep, led by Coach Tim Johnk.
— Creighton Prep FB (@CPFootball17) June 5, 2019
Hail Varsity spoke with Johnk to get his overall thoughts on the camp setting and experience.
“It was well done and it was very well organized,” Johnk explained. “We’ve been to another place in the last couple of years but this was top notch. You can tell they’ve run one of these before at Central Florida. This is their first year in Lincoln doing it but you can tell they have a good template and blueprint. It was well done, really top notch.”
The Junior Jays were lucky to come away from the event without any injuries and part of that is a credit to how the camp was run by Nebraska. It wasn’t a full live scrimmage situation. There was some contact but it wasn’t something where those in attendance tried to hit the others as hard as they could. The teams stillgot plenty of work though.
When you attend a big team camp with 70 of your players and 12 coaches, there are many takeaways for the group.
“One of the first things we want to get out of it is a really cool team bonding experience for our guys,” Johnk said. “You can get them out of Omaha, stay in the dorms and bond together for a few days. I think that’s important in terms of building team camaraderie. The other thing you want to do is get better as a football team. It gives us an opportunity where we are at as a team, where we are at all positions.
“In terms of our depth, we can look at young guys we think have ability but want to see if they are ready for varsity football yet. We can evaluate those guys in a team setting. It’s early in the summer which is I like too because you can do some things early and take the rest of the summer to address some of your weaknesses that you saw at the camp. We can see if we are thin at some spots and what we need to do personnel wise to be competitive in the fall.”
One of the other benefits to this type of event for the high schools is the film work. The first day of the camp on Sunday, the teams practiced then had five short scrimmages against the other schools that were in attendance. The Huskers filmed all of the scrimmages for the teams and uploaded the footage to their Hudl accounts. That’s where the work of getting better started.
“We got all of that film for evaluation which was tremendous,” Johnk said. “It was an invaluable deal. People don’t realize how important that is for us. We were able to take that film and the next morning we had an hour film session with our entire team, run by us. It was just like we were in Omaha and we were watching our film. That helped us so much going into the next set of scrimmages that Monday afternoon. It was absolutely incredible how much better we got from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon. A lot of it had to do with the film session. They did a tremendous job. Their staff bent over backwards for everybody and rolled out the red carpet for all the team’s that were there.”
According to Johnk, the Nebraska staff was around every day of the camp, including Coach Scott Frost, offensive coordinator Troy Walters and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. The graduate assistants and quality control staff were also heavily involved in the camp. That sort of personal touch is something Johnk says doesn’t happen everywhere you go.
The camp seems to have been a big success for Creighton Prep and the other schools that attended. If the Huskers continue building on the first run of this camp, they will have a great new tool on their hands.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.