With 30 of the best high school quarterbacks from Washington, Oregon and Idaho invited to the Northwest 9 quarterback camp in Kirkland, it’s a big honor for high school players to be selected.
That was the case for Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin, who had the chance to compete alongside his peers during the five-day camp at Northwest University.
“For me, I just love the competition,” Griffin said. “It was fun, having all the top guys out there. A lot of those guys have major college offers. So for me, it was cool to go out there, throw, compete and just be able to hang out with those guys.”
The camp is hosted by former UW quarterback and Root Sports Northwest analyst Taylor Barton. While 30 quarterbacks are invited, Barton and the other coaches rank the top nine quarterbacks by the end of the camp. While Griffin was on the outside looking in on the final nine, he said he believes the experience was a positive one.
“None of us wanted to back down,” Griffin said. “For me, it’s always about competing. We’re trying to beat each other the whole time, but after that we all go back to the dorms and we’re all friends.”
Griffin mostly worked on his mechanics. When he was younger, he developed a habit of bringing the ball down before he released it. He’s working to correct that.
“It increases the time it’s in my hand,” Griffin said. “So I felt like I got better at it, once I got the snap, just getting the ball out quicker. And the other thing is just footwork and spinning the ball — getting the full extension of my arm.”
Griffin also got a unique film experience. While technology has shifted toward more camera angles for film study, virtual reality is perhaps the next step, and an intriguing one. Utilizing six GoPro cameras in a cube that sat to the left of the quarterbacks, coaches were able to give players a more in-depth view of reading a defense than ever before.
“We were able to go into meetings and watch ourselves and look how we’re reading a defense,” Griffin said. “It’s a completely 360-degree view. It’s insane.”
Griffin said he was disappointed not to finish in the top nine, but will use it as a motivation.
“That was my goal, so I was definitely bummed to not be there,” he said. “I know I could be. I just wasn’t as consistent earlier in the camp. I heated up toward the end. Next year, I’ll be gunning for that top spot.”
Griffin said he’s ready to get the football season rolling.
“This offseason, I worked really hard,” Griffin said. “By competing with these guys, it just makes me want to work even harder and get better, and show that in the fall on game days.”