Gridiron Dreams Football Academy hosts camp for children with NFL players

Posted at 4:33 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 18:33:50-04

BOISE, Idaho — Former Boise State Broncos coached kids in this annual tradition and some of the players included NFL players John Hightower, Curtis Weaver, David Moa and Avery Williams.

Alex Guerrero came to Boise State in 2002 and after his playing days during the glory years and getting his degree he started the Gridiron Dreams Football Academy in 2009.

“When you get embraced by a community the way you do at Boise State it makes you want to do things like these and that doesn’t leave you when you go to the NFL or if you go and take a 9-5 job," said Guerrero. "It goes beyond football the kids see the way these guys interact, the passion they have for each other."

This camp focuses on the fundamentals with two different sessions one for the younger kids and one for the older kids, the three pillars of Gridiron Football Academy are work ethic, respect and teamwork.

"I think it was very nice for all these people in the NFL to come out here," said camper Declan Healey. "I like that I get to tackle people without getting in trouble."

This year also marked the first time that current Boise State Broncos Hank Bachmeier and Khalil Shakir were able to be coaches and get paid for their time.

On July 1, the NCAA issued a new rule that allows student-athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness.

This is a seismic change that the NCAA has fought for decades but on June 21st the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA's appeal that they should receive anti-trust treatment because of its academic mission.

"I have a pretty unique perspective on that and I do think that it is something that is long overdue," said Guerrero. "But I think there are going to be some growing pains with it I think it is the right thing to do, I think the model of the NCAA has changed.”

When the new rule went into effect July 1 and almost immediately some of the big-name quarterbacks in college football started signing endorsement deals, there is a lot of grey area with this right now and it is combined with state law, however, Idaho is one of ten states that don't have any laws on this issue so it isn't clear what will happen with this moving forward.

But for now, Bachmeier and Shakir were able to participate in this camp and they will be signing autographs on Saturday with other players at Ridley's Family Market in Kuna and Star from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

“Boise State’s success in the 2000s helped this economy it goes way beyond the university I think the city and the state of Idaho have been represented in a tremendous way and you can’t put a financial number on that," said Guerrero. "So now the players that do move the needle can have that be something that resonates with them and materializes for them."