Gig Harbor High senior quarterback Davis Alexander took third place in the inaugural Northwest 9, an invite-only football camp last weekend in Kirkland.
Former University of Washington quarterback Taylor Barton and former WSU QB Alex Brink ran the camp, which was comprised of 25 top QBs from the area. Over the four-day camp, Barton and Brink evaluated the high school QBs on not only their play on the field, but also their respect in the dorm rooms at Northwest University, leadership in drills and attention to detail in the film room.
Alexander impressed on and off the field, earning the third-place ranking in a competitive field. Spending time with some of the state’s best quarterbacks was enjoyable for Alexander.
“Hanging out with all those guys and getting to know each other, it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” Alexander said. “We’re still connected after the camp. I guess you’re not really supposed to be friends with opposing QBs but the guys were so funny. I truly think that’s what made the camp experience.”
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Even though the camp was only a few days, Alexander said he believes he became a better quarterback.
“One of my biggest things was probably how important it is — how much work you spend in the film room transfers over to your play. When you’re truly focused in, it makes the game so much easier,” he said. “I kind of took that for granted in the past. That was my biggest takeaway. It was nice to be guided and see it work out on the field.”
With the help of Barton and Brink, Alexander made some small tweaks to his throwing mechanics to improve his balance.
“Just cleaning up my follow through, that’s one thing we worked on,” Alexander said. “You could see the advantages.”
The camp wasn’t all football and seriousness — there was a lot of fun mixed in, too. During a break, the players played “Knocker Balls,” a game where players are enclosed inside an inflatable ball and can hit each other at full speed and simply bounce off each other.
“It’s honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Alexander said.
Alexander currently holds offers from Montana Tech and the College of Idaho.
“Davis Alexander is a guy people are starting to know, but I still don’t think people realize just how good he really is,” Barton told The News Tribune. “I have a kid, Jordan Johnson, who was the starter at Montana the past couple years, and Davis is better than Jordan was (at) the same age, with a stronger arm. And Jordan tore it up in the Big Sky. I know Davis is capable of doing that.”
Barton and Brink also enlisted the help of position players to facilitate scrimmages. Gig Harbor wide receivers Noah Samsen and Kyle Olson-Urbon came, as well as safety Kale Wong, who had a huge day on Saturday, picking off three passes in four plays.
“I was sitting on the sideline and was telling everyone, I practice with this guy every day,” Alexander said. “If you think there’s a window to throw the ball there, you probably can’t with Kale. He’s just a stud.”
Above all else, Alexander said he felt like he became a better leader during the camp, and hopes that will carry over to his senior season with the Tides, who are being talked about as a contender for the Class 4A state title.
“Alex and Taylor did a really good job of making this camp not solely about football,” Alexander said. “It’s about life lessons and preparation. That’s the biggest thing I can bring back: Preparation and just being a leader.”