Gridiron Football Kicks Off Elite Camp Series At Woodlawn

The Gridiron Football Elite Camp Series kicked off this past Saturday at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 82 middle and high school football players took part in this event and got the football offseason started by first getting their measurables while running the 40 yard dash, the shuttle, and also partaking in the long jump.

This gave young and veteran players alike the experience of going through a combine. Whether it was players that were getting to experience these combines for the first time or players that already had experience of going through other combines before, the Woodlawn camp was an opportunity for the players to learn on how to improve those numbers while showing off their athleticism, speed, and change of direction.

There were a lot of impressive numbers throughout the day. For the 40 yard dash, 34 different players hit the four second zone including four different players that ran under 4.6. Woodlawn safety Cayden Randall (Class of 2026) ran a 4.56/40 while Collegiate (Baton Rouge) wide receiver Melik Johnson (Class of 2024) and Woodlawn defensive back Caleb Cooper (Class of 2025) ran a 4.6/40. St. Michael High School quarterback Preston Sentino (Class of 2024) showed off his wheels with a 4.54/40, but the fastest time of the day belonged to Ferriday High School linebacker Caleb Ellis(Class of 2025), who ran a blazing 4.53/40.

In the shuttle, 33 players ran times in the 4 second range as well. The fastest shuttle run belonged to Woodlawn High School wide receiver Chad Aguillard Jr. (Class of 2027), who ran a 4.43/40 shuttle.

In the long jump, 12 players jumped over nine feet including one player that did jump over 10 feet. The only player to accomplish that feat this past Saturday was Zachary High School running back Kameron Thomas (Class of 2024).

After the combine was over, it was time for the players to showcase their skills in front of the coaches. Players got to go in different position groups and learn under the likes of Marcus Randall, Tyler Lewis, Ross Akpan, Eric Holden, Marcus Singleton, Byron Wade, and others in order to learn new techniques that can help improve their game.

After getting their numbers and learning techniques, it was time to get to the most fun part about the camp and that is competition. Linemen got a chance to go at each other while wide receivers and defensive backs went one on one in competitive drills.

It is nice to see who runs the fastest and who jumps the farthest, but it is all about seeing how much players want to compete and win. There were quite a few players that stood out.

Ferriday High School WR Christopher Sheppard Jr. makes a leaping catch. (Photo taken by Andy Bryson)

There were multiple quarterbacks that stood out from multiple schools. Representing the Catholic High School Bears, quarterback Nico Victorian (Class of 2025) showed off his rocket arm as the ball just jumps out of his hand every time he dropped back to throw. Meanwhile, quarterback Eli Miller (Class of 2027) showed great touch and threw some beautiful deep balls as well. There were also some talented quarterbacks from St. Michael High School that had good outings as both Preston Sentino (Class of 2024) and Dalton Rufini (Class of 2024) displayed their athleticism putting up good numbers in the combine while showing flashes in the competition portion of the camp.

Walker High School quarterback Bryson Thomas (Class of 2025) did a great job of flipping his hips and staying square when throwing the football. Then, there was Zachary quarterback Willie Johnson III (Class of 2028), who showed that he is a rising star to keep an eye on in the future. Johnson’s accuracy and arm talent is way ahead of a lot of quarterbacks in his age group.

However, it was not just about the quarterbacks. The skill players shined brightly too. At the middle school level, North Iberville High School running back Jeremy Favorite (Class of 2027) and wide receiver Bra’Jon Melancon (Class of 2027) had another consistent showing after both playing in the Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game. At the high school side, Cayden Randall had a consistent combine showing off his great athleticism by running a 4.56/40 and also long jumping close to 10 feet. He is going to be another big name to watch out for that will come from an ultra heavy talented Woodlawn football program.

The reason I say that is because two of Randall’s Woodlawn teammates also balled out. Defensive back Tyler Knox (Class of 2024) had one of the biggest highlights of the day when he jumped up and got a leaping interception. Knox was a ball magnet on one on ones with multiple interceptions. Teammates Chris (Class of 2024) and Caleb Cooper (Class of 2025) were just as impressive in coverage.

In the trenches, Woodlawn center Dwayne Beverly (Class of 2025) was impressive and showed why he started last season as a sophomore. Also, North Iberville offensive lineman Ethan Thomas (Class of 2025) and defensive lineman Jordan Philson (Class of 2024) have shown tremendous upside.

At the end of the camp, players got to listen to former LSU quarterback and current Woodlawn High School head coach Marcus Randall talk about making the most of opportunities and where those opportunities can lead you to.

Then, finally, Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson asked the players about what they took away that day from the camp and wrapped it up by inviting two players that stood out from the camp to the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game.

Covington High School RB Justin Chatman (433) got invited by Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson to play in the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game at the Woodlawn camp. (Photo taken by Andy Bryson)

Andy invited two running backs that had big days in Covington High School running back Justin Chatman (Class of 2024) and Parkview Baptist High School defensive back Mason Warren (Class of 2024) to play in this prestigious bowl game that has helped plenty of kids sign with colleges.

It was great representations from areas all around including not only in Baton Rouge, but in Ferriday, Vidalia, Mississippi, and New Orleans just to name a few. For the first Gridiron Football Elite Camp of four, Andy Bryson called the first Gridiron Football Elite Camp of 2023 a whopping success.

“There was a lot of good local talent in Louisiana in attendance. I was happy to see that a lot of kids put the work in. They could have been anywhere else on a Saturday morning, but they benefited from learning and fine tuning their skills. Every parent I talked to was thankful for the opportunity that we gave their kids.”

Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson

The good news is that this is not the only opportunity that players get the chance to showcase their talents for Gridiron Football. There are three more camps upcoming on the schedule as the next camp will take place at St. Edmund High School in Eunice, Louisiana on Saturday, February 25th. The week after on Saturday, March 4th will be the third camp held at Jonesboro Hodge High School in Jonesboro, Louisiana, and finally, on Saturday, April 22nd, the last Gridiron Football Elite camp will be held at Rayville High School in Rayville, LA. If you are between 7th and 12th grade and want to take part in our camps, go to the link below to pre-register.

All of the videos from the Gridiron Football (Woodlawn) Elite Camp are below.

Keep posted with everything happening on our website. The digital magazine recapping the event plus all of the pictures for the event will be posted by the end of this week.