St. Charles Herald-Guide

4 parish football players compete at Elite 25 camp

By Jonathan Menard - June 13, 2013

Four St. Charles Parish football players recently joined some of the top college prospects in the state at the Elite 25 camp.

The camp was started by former NFL players J.J. McCleskey and Nate Singleton. Singleton is an assistant coach for Hahnville High School.

Destrehan quarterback Donovan Isom, Hahnville receivers Brandon Singleton and Rickey Preston and Hahnville cornerback Larry Boyd all participated in the camp. Singleton said the goal of the camp was to give players an introduction to an NFL-style mini camp.

"We just went after these kids for a weekend and definitely got their attention," Singleton said.

Singleton said players were chosen after he and McCleskey looked at film and talked to area coaches.

"Most of these guys were highly ranked," he said. "We wanted to offer a mentorship camp to enlighten them."

Along with teaching players skills, the camp also delved into off the field behavior. Singleton said one of the things the camp preached was the importance of social media. Several high profile college and NFL players have gotten in trouble in recent years for things they posted on Facebook or Twitter.

"We told them that if they are tweeting or Instagraming, they donít want to put anything negative out there," Singleton said.

Players also learned how to conduct proper interviews and went over ACT test-taking skills.

The camp was called Elite 25 because 10 cornerbacks, 10 receivers and five quarterbacks were invited to attend. Singleton worked with the receivers while former Saints quarterback John Fourcade and former Tulane star Terrence Jones spent time with the quarterbacks. Former Saint Tyrone Hughes and McCleskey instructed the cornerbacks.

Singleton was impressed with the performance of the St. Charles Parish players.

"Hahnvilleís guys, between Brandon Singleton, Rickey Preston and Larry Boyd, had a pretty good two days," he said. "Destrehanís Donovan Isom was incredible. He throws the ball so well."

Singleton said another main goal of the camp was to get the players some attention. Several already have multiple scholarship offers, but others are just now starting to get noticed for their on-field performance.

"We find that in high school athletes, the kids that fit the eye test get the most attention," he said. "For a sophomore or junior that does not fit the eye test, but has a great skill set, he needs to be noticed as well. J.J. and I know itís about more than meeting the eye test."

Singleton said the camp was a huge success and he hopes to have it again next year.

"We broke it down and enhanced their skill set," he said. "You canít hide hard work, so we worked on their skill set and taught them how to be professionals and how to be detail oriented. Every kid that participated got better at their position."

The camp was sponsored by Nike.

Larry Boyd, Brandon Singleton, Rickey Preston and Donovan Isom pose with coach Nate Singleton at the Elite 25 camp.
Larry Boyd, Brandon Singleton, Rickey Preston and Donovan Isom pose with coach Nate Singleton at the Elite 25 camp.