Eleven-year old Nathan Davidson’s favourite NFL quarterback is Cam Newton, but Russell Wilson is closing the gap.
Davidson, a quarterback and defensive back with the Sherwood Park Pee Wee Raiders of the Capital District Minor Football Association, was one of the 275 football hopefuls to participate in the Russell Wilson Passing Academy’s sole Canadian stop, July 10 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C.
Davidson and his father drove all the way from Edmonton for the session, which also featured Jaguars receiver Brian Walters and Seahawks Julius Warmsley (DE) and Will Tukuafu (FB).
“My dream is to play in the NFL,” said Davidson, who recently received his team’s MVP and Terry Walsh Memorial Award for enthusiasm and dedication to football. “So this was definitely worth the drive.”
The long-line up of young football players hoping to register for the chance to learn from Wilson at the event was testament to the strength of the minor football community in Western Canada, and of the Seahawks fan base North of the border.
“I saw a picture of Russell when he was young with Peyton Manning at Peyton Manning’s passing academy,” added Davidson. “It kind of inspired me to get my picture with Russell so that, one day, they could show me and him at his camp after I’ve made it to my own Super Bowl too.”
In addition to tips from (and photos with) Wilson, the 275 participants (between the ages of 9 and 17) worked on team-based drills and fundamentals. The boys and girls also worked their way through an NFL Play 60 running back station. In recognition of the growing number of young Canadians taking up the sport, NFL Canada will be introducing Play 60 in select schools throughout the country this Fall.
Tight end Luke Willson, a native Canadian and one of Wilson’s targets with the Seahawks, also visited with the players.
The Russell Wilson Passing Academy will visit five U.S. cities this summer. Burnaby was the only Canadian stop.