Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series is returning to ESPN for its fifth season this spring. Since 2010, the popular SportsCenter specials have produced groundbreaking content that gives fans a first-hand look inside the film room and introduces them to the next generation of NFL standouts.
Nine of the top quarterback prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft are scheduled to participate in Gruden’s QB Camp, including 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, two-time BCS National Champion A.J. McCarron of Alabama, and Louisville standout Teddy Bridgewater.
2014 Gruden’s QB Camp participants:
Blake Bortles Central Florida
Tajh Boyd Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater Louisville
Derek Carr Fresno
Jimmy Garoppolo Eastern Illinois
Jordan Lynch Northern Illinois
A.J. McCarron Alabama
Johnny Manziel Texas A&M
Aaron Murray Georgia
ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach prepares a custom lesson plan for each prospect that highlights strengths and identifies areas of improvement for the quarterback to be successful at the NFL level.
The past four years, Gruden has mentored the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Super Bowl XLVIII champion Russell Wilson. Of the 29 quarterbacks (from 27 different schools) who have participated in the one-on-one film sessions, 14 were regular starters during the 2013 NFL season. (See attached infographic for statistics.)
In 2014, QB Camp moves to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando where a new studio replicates Gruden’s Tampa office – affectionately dubbed the Fired Football Coaches Association (FFCA), which has been home to QB Camp since its inception. In addition, the 220-acre sports facility’s athletic fields will be used for quarterback workouts.
With the ESPN Innovation Lab permanently based at the Wide World of Sports, state-of-the-art technical facilities will also allow some QB Camp segments to be edited on-site for same-day turnaround. In addition, uplink capabilities will make it possible for quarterbacks to participate in interviews on ESPN NFL shows, SportsCenter and other programs during their visits.
“Since the Monday Night Football season ended, Jon has been grinding away, preparing lesson plans for QB Camp,” said Jay Rothman, ESPN’s Vice President of Production, who oversees the series. “We have another talented and eager group of players set to visit this spring and we are particularly excited about enhancing our coverage with the tremendous facilities and support available to us at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.”
Manziel, who spent Thursday with Gruden (photos via ESPN Images), is the first quarterback to visit for QB Camp. An excerpt of his film session will air tonight on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter. Remaining players are scheduled to work with Gruden in March and April.
Gruden’s QB Camp special on Manziel is scheduled to premiere Thursday, March 27 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the same day the Aggies quarterback will participate in his individual Pro Day in College Station, Texas. Most QB Camp specials will air on Tuesdays, beginning in late April at 9 p.m. on ESPN. Shows will also re-air on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. The entire QB Camp program schedule will be released in March.