They’re still developing their skills, but Steve Clarkson promises that the 50 young men attending his Santa Barbara Quarterback Retreat this weekend are “kids you’ll see on Saturdays, some of them on Sundays.”
Clarkson’s camps have been a proving ground for NFL quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Matt Leinart of the Oakland Raiders, and Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs. He’ll be sending the current crop through public workouts Saturday and Sunday at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.
David Sills, 15, is one of Clarkson’s prize pupils. Sills made a verbal commitment to USC two years ago, before he played his first high school game. He will be a sophomore at East Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland, this fall. Sills was the varsity starter at Red Lion Christian Academy in Bear, Delaware, as an 8th-grader (the school is for grades K-12).
“David has exceeded expectations,” Clarkson said of the prodigy he has tutored since the age of 9.
Clarkson has assembled an all-star lineup of guest coaches for this weekend’s camp. They include Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, All-Pro linebacker Willie McGinest, wide receiver Curtis Conway, and quarterbacks Jake Locker, Leinart and Cassel.
The camp will also feature the championship games of the Throwback Football League, a competition for middle-school teams. “They’ll be representing the Rams, 49ers and Chargers in the old uniforms,” Clarkson said. Games will be played at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.