Blackmon, Rowley set for camp, combine

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Rhode Island natives Will Blackmon and Kyle Rowley are teaming up once again this summer, as they are hosting the fifth-annual Blackmon FUNdamentals Football Camp and second-annual Blackmon-Rowley Combine Camp at Bishop Hendricken High School.

“I love coming back home to RI. It’s important to me to give back to the community and offer this camp for kids who may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate,” Blackmon said in a statement.

Blackmon was an All-State football player for Hendricken, and went on to play for Boston College and win a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. He is currently an analyst on NFL Network.

The camp, which is being held on July 6, will give players between the ages of 7-14 and opportunity to learn the ropes of the sport while also sharpening their skills. The camp will be run by not only Blackmon and Rowley, but as well as other RI football standouts such as Lee Moses, Jordan Monk, Robert Sewall, and other Boston College alumni.

“My instructors are great role models. I wanted to incorporate coaches who grew up in RI and went on to have successful careers so that the kids here could relate to them,” said Blackmon.

The camp will host a morning and an afternoon session. The morning session will be open to players ages 7-10 and will be held from 9 a.m.-noon. Check-in is at 8:15 a.m. The afternoon session will be open to players ages 11-14 and is slated for 1-4 p.m. Check-in is at 12:15. Space is limited. To register, visit rowleyqbs.com.

Blackmon is also teaming up with Rowley, a former Hendricken All-State quarterback who went on to play at Brown, and was later a two-time champion and MVP in the Arena Football League, for the combine camp. This camp is expected to have well over 100 participants, and gives local high school players the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of numerous college coaches and scouts.

“We’re always trying to add new people to the mix, we’re just trying to build the numbers and have more colleges there. The Brown University camp had over 20 colleges there and that is what we’re trying to replicate, if you get kids on the field with recruiters, something is going to happen,” said Rowley of this year’s combine. “It was something that we envisioned for a long time. Will has the youth camp but kids began to time out of that, and we didn’t want to just leave them hanging. As a Rhode Island athlete, I definitely wanted to come back here and give guys an easier road than I had. Rhode Island has been overlooked in the past, and the uphill battle for these guys is almost unfair. If my career proves anything, it’s that there is some great football here.”

Rowley and Blackmon hope to give these local players some exposure to collegiate programs, and to prove that the Ocean State has top-notch athletes that can excel at the college level.

“A lot of the scouts were surprised last year when we had 100 kids, now this year we are going to have even more. We’re happy to provide these players this experience and to keep reminding them that this opportunity is out there for them,” said Rowley. “There are players here that can play college football, and the problem is that it is up to the colleges to find them. Sometimes kids are borderline and college recruiters will think, ‘well, I don’t know this kid’s name,’ and this is what this is for … these kids need to get their name out there. This combine opens up that bridge for these guys and these colleges.”

The Blackmon/Rowley Combine Camp will also be held at Hendricken on July 7, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. To register, visit rowleyqbs.com

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