The big boys of Long Beach got a special treat last weekend as Long Beach Poly alum Jurrell Casey hosted his third annual offensive and defensive linemen camp at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Most summer football camps focus on skill positions like quarterback, receiver, or defensive back, which is precisely why Casey has chosen to focus on the trenches. Casey, a two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Titans, was ranked the No. 66 best player in all of the NFL this summer by NFL.com. He’s made a good living at an underappreciated position, and wants to pass that knowledged on to the youth of Long Beach.
“We don’t get the love we deserve down there, and a lot of times you see kids come to Poly or other high schools raw because they don’t get the same work to enhance their skill set,” he said. “I want to help these kids to get an upper hand.”
Casey’s camp doesn’t usually draw the same numbers that some of the other camps do, because it’s limited to one position group, often one that players won’t choose until they’re older. The result is that there’s more focused in Casey’s camp than at most summer camps, with the Pro Bowler literally putting his hand on the turf to work individually with campers to improve their flexibility and leverage.
Casey has grown to love spending time in his hometown working with the next generation, and said he’s happy to be part of a movement to give back to the youth, with four free football camps hosted by NFLers in Long Beach this summer.
“It’s huge, it speaks volumes about the community to see the love coming back from the alums to the kids,” he said. “For the kids to be able to see us in person and look up to us, to know that we’re coming back to help out, I think that’s great. That’s what this is all about.”