Although the Super Bowl has ended, it does not mean that football has ended. In fact, it is just beginning at Gridiron Football as we recently started the 2024 offseason by hosting our first Elite Camp of the spring at Bossier High School in Bossier City, Louisiana.
It was a great first event to kick off the year as over 30 kids came over the weekend to participate in the camp on Sunday, February 4th after the camp was moved to that day because of bad weather being in the area the day before, but that did not stop these players from coming and taking part in the competition.
As always, Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson and the coaches started the camp by talking to the players about what it takes to be successful. After the pep talk was given, the players went right into warmups and then the combine. Like when college football players go to the NFL combine to help with their stock, these high school players got the chance to learn how to run these drills that will be used for evaluation later on in their prep careers. Players got the chance in the first portion of the camp to run the 40, shuttle, and jump in the broad jump.
Two of the fastest runners actually came from Notre Dame High School in Crowley, Louisiana as wide receivers Leyton Faul and Brice Duhon ran 4.5/40s. Along with the two Pios from Notre Dame, Huntington High School 2025 running back Chris Swinney also ran a 4.5/40. Nine other players broke in the 4’s when running the 40 yard dash including Rusheon Middle School superstar and Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game MVP Arayvis Davenport, who ran a 4.65/40.
When it comes to the shuttle run, two players ran in the 4.2’s as Chris Swinney ran the fastest at 4.22 while Leyton Faul was right behind him with a 4.25. Six players ran in the 4.4’s including Peabody Magnet High School 2025 QB James Lucas IV, who was one of the best leaders in that category last spring.
Finally, the last combine drill was the broad jump. Three players were able to jump over nine feet as Chris Swinney once again paced the field with a 9’7 jump. Magnolia School of Excellence 2025 ATH Travis Sanders Jr. had an impressive 9’6 jump while James Lucas IV jumped a 9’5.
After the combine, players got the chance to run some position drills before breaking off to the best part of the camp, which is competition.
Quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs, and linebackers broke off to participate in a 20 minute 7v7 period to wrap up the camp while offensive and defensive linemen worked with Andy and competed in the annual trench war as well as the first annual tire pull challenge.
All the linemen were having fun doing the tire pull challenge as two players at a time got to compete by grabbing opposite ends of the tire and trying to pull each other five yards to win. The competition was fun and intense. It was a great conditioning drill for the players, but it also taught them how to overcome adversity while pushing through to finish. There were a lot of great battles, but the one that stood out the most was when Minden High School 2025 OL Jonathan Bradford and Woodlawn (Shreveport) High School 2025 nose guard Marcus Palmer met up in the finals as other players were going back and forth before eventually, Bradford won the 1v1 matchup. The tire pull was a great success as it was the first time that Gridiron Football ran that drill in the camp and it will make a lasting presence at the rest of our elite camps this spring.
Speaking of making an impact, Northwood High School 2026 WR Chris Sheppard made an impression when he caught three touchdowns in 7v7 using his 6’2, 182 pound frame and playmaking ability. He will certainly be a name to keep an eye for in the Shreveport area. All four quarterbacks from the camp made some great throws. Peabody Magnet High School 2025 QB James Lucas IV had another good camp performance making his record 6th straight camp in a row dating back to when he made all five camps last spring. He finished the 7v7 period completing 7 of 10 passes. Haughton High School 2027 QB Taylor Weathersby is heading into his first season as the starter for the Buccaneers this season and showed why he is going to be a talented signal caller the next four years as he bursts onto the scene with a deep touchdown pass to Sheppard. Minden High School 2026 QB Hudson Brown rifled in a touchdown pass to 8th grade phenom Arayvis Davenport and finished completing 4 of 8 passes. Finally, there was the signal caller with the homefield advantage in Bossier High School 2025 QB Quintarion Scott, who threw two touchdown passes while completing 3 of 4 passes.
Also making plays during the 20 minute session was Travis Sanders, who had three catches, Breaux Bridge High School 2025 WR/TE Sage Chevalier, who had two catches including one deep catch, Bossier High School 2025 RB Caleb Jones, Breaux Bridge High School 2026 WR Isaiah Leblanc, who had 1 catch, Leyton Faul, who had 1 catch, Brice Duhon, who had 1 catch, and Chris Swinney, who had a touchdown catch.
At the end of the camp, each coach got the chance to pick their top standout performers and each of those award winners got to take home some pretty cool gloves from Gridiron Football.
In the trenches, Jonathan Bradford and Marcus Palmer were named as outstanding performers because of their strength, footwork, agility, and competitiveness. Because of his incredible times and overall performance, Chris Swinney was another player that was awarded a top Elite Camp performer. Chris Sheppard’s performance during the 7v7 earned him some gloves as a top performer. At the quarterback position, Taylor Weathersby raised the eyebrows for the coaches and was named a top performer. Finally, at defensive back, Airline High School 2026 DB Jeremiah McElveen earned top performer honors for his position.
All the players left with a Gridiron Football backpack, a video interview, and an overall good experience. One of the coaches that helped Gridiron Football put on this event was Johnathan Collins, who has been a great representative in order to give exposure to players in the 318.
“I definitely believe it was a historic event. We had a great opportunity to get a lot of athletes in the Shreveport/Bossier area and the surrounding areas all the way to Alexandria that needed the exposure and deserved it. At the end of the day, Gridiron is what we value here in North Louisiana and for them to have the opportunity to make history today was definitely a great day for the area.”Johnathan Collins
Gridiron Football also received a great surprise as Center High School (Center, TX) running back and NAU signee Kaden Dixon decided to come back to help out the next up and coming players after he broke onto the Gridiron scene at our Elite Camp where he was invited and got the chance to play in the Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game this past December.
“I just feel like if I can do it, they can do it and hopefully, I can put it in their head to keep working.”Center High School (TX) 2024 RB and NAU signee Kaden Dixon
Showing up over a weekend when they could be relaxing and playing video games shows the work ethic these guys put in, and that is only half the battle. If you want to get the chance to get to know each of these guys, check out their interviews below with the Gridiron staff. All of the pictures from the camp will be posted in our digital magazine, which will be posted soon.
Some of the 2025 prospects that took part in our camp will also get invited to play in our Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game. We will send the players their official invites after the camp season. Finally, we want to thank Bossier High School and their head coach Gary Smith for accommodating us and allowing us to have the camp at their high school. We will have more coverage of the Bearkats in our digital magazine.
To see all of our video interviews from the camp, check them out below and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more!