Desmond Bryant Football Camp attracts big numbers

ELIZABETHTOWN — The fourth annual Desmond Bryant Football Camp at East Bladen High’s Lenon Fisher Stadium attracted about 75 participants and another 25 or more volunteers and coaches on Saturday.

“We had a really good turnout,” said Eagles head coach Robby Priest. “But it was hot as all get-out.”

Bryant, a prep star with East Bladen who helped the Eagles to a 13-1 record — losing only in the state championship game — before playing football at Harvard, was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2009 as an undrafted free agent and now plays defensive end for the Cleveland Browns.

Saturday’s free camp was filled with football drills and no shortage of fun for the participants, which were between the ages of 6 and 18.

“I think everyone, including the coaches and Des, had fun out there,” Priest said. “We shortened up on some of the drills because of the heat, but still managed to give the kids plenty of things to work on and enjoy.”

Among the volunteers to come out and assist with the camp on Saturday were former Eagles players — including brothers Farrell and Larrell Murchison, each of whom will be attending and playing football for Winston-Salem State University in the fall.

“It’s good for the kids to be able to come work alongside current and former players like that,” Priest said. “I think that, and this camp, are all part of planting the seed for playing football down the road.

“Plus, they get to see what the hard work can do by seeing and hearing someone like Desmond Bryant talk with them,” he added.

Priest also said he’s appreciative of all the kids who came out for Saturday’s football camp.

“There are a lot of other things going on this time of year — all-star games, vacations, etc. — so we know we are blessed to get the kind of numbers we get each year for this camp,” he said.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.