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Training with National Football Leaguers isn’t an everyday occurrence for high school athletes, but just last month Franklin County Rebel football player Jai Kinslow received exactly that opportunity courtesy of Tennessee Titan Colin McCarthy.
Kinslow attended the second annual Colin McCarthy High School Combine Clinic in May, a camp hosted by McCarthy for high school juniors and seniors.
McCarthy, a fourth round selection by the Titans in 2011, was driven to host his camp after he had attended one very similar to his own in high school. The camp had a huge impact on him both physically and how he approached the game mentally.
Wanting to provide the same opportunity for local high school athletes to get advice and instruction that will help them as they transition, McCarthy successfully held his second annual camp at the Quest Sports Center in Brentwood.
Provided freely as a way for McCarthy to give back, the clinic is for high school athletes who are serious about the game and want to learn as they transition to their next step.
If one NFL mind wasn’t enough for the campers to pry into, McCarthy made sure to invite along a few friends.
Kinslow, along with the other campers were also coached by McCarthy’s fellow Titan teammates Karl Klug, Moses Fokou, Michael Griffin and Zach Brown.
“It was fun, I really liked it,” said Kinslow of the one-day camp.
The fun Kinslow spoke of included being instructed on how to properly execute drills such as the 40-yard dash, L-cone drill, vertical jump, broad jump, five-ten-five, and medicine ball throw.
Proper technique was big on recording the best possible times, and Kinslow noted that the coaching truly helped perform at his best.
“In the shuttle drill, I learned how to take off from the (correct) stance, and then crossover,” Kinslow said, referring to how he was coached.
Limited to 70 spots available, generating more one-on-one instruction and interaction with the coaches, the camp was an invaluable opportunity.
The camp strived to get top caliber athletes, and reached out to local high school coaches for recommendations. According to Kinslow, the competitiveness was at a high point all day.
“Everybody was trying to beat out each other,” Kinslow said about the camp’s competition level.
Most Rebel fans would probably recognize Kinslow as the speedy wingback with long dreads bolting around the corner for long touchdown runs.
Although offensive stats usually get thrust into the spotlight, it was on the defensive side of the ball that Kinslow mostly enjoys and excelled at last year in his sophomore season.
Kinslow apparently not only stands out in his Rebel jersey on Friday nights, but also among other highly talented athletes as he received recognition from McCarthy on his efforts at the camp.
“Jai showed great improvement in his skills training at the combine and I’m glad I’m able to provide an opportunity like this that is specifically designed to help elevate overall performance.” McCarthy said about Kinslow’s performance at the camp.
The advantageous and considerate camp will surely provide an extra boost to Kinslow’s on field production in his upcoming junior season with the Rebels.
A defensive captain in 2012, as voted on by his fellow teammates, McCarthy is entering his fourth season in the NFL.
The Miami Hurricanes product should be a prime candidate to lock down one of the starting inside linebacker spots.