Fulton Maroons football player Carson de Boer just graced the same field as National Football League superstars Adrian Peterson, Andrew Luck and LeSean McCoy.
The right defensive end completed the Top Gun Football Camp in Dublin, Ohio Saturday, where he battled some of North America’s elite high school prospects.
De Boer was recently down at the Football University camp in Phoenix, where he earned an invite to Top Gun. Only 15 per cent of the football players from Arizona received invites.
“It was awesome and a great learning experience. We focused on the technical part of the game rather than just getting the job done,” said de Boer.
The camp focused on drills and techniques rather than competition as the players wore helmets but no pads.
“We worked a lot on doing your job; maintaining your gaps, disengaging from linemen and reading plays,” said de Boer.
If de Boer does well in Ohio, he has a shot at being selected for the U.S Army American-Bowl, a game that has produced some of the elite football players you see on TV every Sunday during NFL season.
De Boer is coming off a dominant season on both sides of the ball, leading the Maroons to a 3-2 regular season record.
“He was definitely our best lineman. He is a big tall kid and he was able to help us out on the offensive line sometimes. We often slid him over to play centre and left guard,” said Fulton football head coach Mike Scheller.
De Boer finished tied for third in B.C. AA varsity with seven sacks, accompanied by 38 tackles.
“My go-to is the rip-and-swim move. I can get to other running backs and quarterbacks pretty quickly,” said de Boer.
The 16-year-old can move pretty quick for somebody who stands 6-foot-3 and walks around at 225 pounds. He runs a 4.85 40-yard dash, which is just three-tenths of a second slower than the NFL’s 2014 first overall draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, also a defensive end.
“I’d say I was as fast as most of the kids down there. The biggest difference was the size. Some of them were a lot bigger than me,” said de Boer.
Added Scheller, “Carson is a really good kid with a great attitude. He is a workout machine which is something you need to be able to play in the States. He loves football, he wants to play as much as he can.”
While at Football University camp, de Boer worked with former NFL coach Tim Krumrie and trainer Thurmond Moore.
Krumrie, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals for 11 years and has been a defensive line coach for the Bengals and Buffalo Bills, said de Boer was “one of the most improved players and one of the most talented d-men at the camp.”
When asked where his allegiance lies in the NFL, de Boer said it’s with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Houston Texans.
“I really like J.J. Watt (Texans’ d-lineman) for what he does on and off the field. I admire him for playing hard and the way he gives back to the community,” said de Boer, who turns 16 next month and is keeping his options open.
“I don’t have a preference; going to school in the States is definitely a goal of mine, but I just want to play at the highest level I can,” said de Boer.
The former Vernon Wolverines minor football player is preparing for his Grade 12 season at Fulton, with camp tentatively opening Aug. 19.