The usually shy and reserved persona showed by Rogers High School graduate Brandon Gibson disappeared during the 11th annual Big Blue football camp last Wednesday morning at Zeiger Elementary School.
Gibson, a 2005 Rogers alumnus who is entering his fifth season as a wide receiver in the NFL, was animated throughout the camp, shouting words of encouragement as campers ran perfect pass patterns.
Gibson signed with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason after he spent four years with the St. Louis Rams.
“I’m just excited and happy to be here, working with the kids,” Gibson said. “This is for them. I’m glad I can come out here and give them a little insight and just have fun at the same time.”
Gibson said he looks forward to coming back to his former stomping grounds all summer long.
“I still remember all of the practices and all of the stories from high school,” he said. “I had a great time here. It’s always memorable to come back.”
Gibson said he’s been pushing himself through rigorous workouts this summer in preparation for Dolphins training camp. He lives in Seattle during the offseason and works out regularly in Factoria. He plans to report to training camp on Sunday.
“I’m excited to play for the Dolphins and am really looking forward to trying to win a championship and dominating the AFC East,” he said.
King-5 TV sports anchor Chris Egan and former NFL receiver Dane Looker also were guest speakers at the camp. Rogers head football coach Gene Bowen said having a trio of stars in attendance was a blessing.
“We have had some former players visit as guest speakers over the years like, Alex Stacy, Grant Williams and my sons, but to have guys who have a little more notoriety and a little more life experience like Brandon, Chris and Dane is special,” Bowen said. “We feel very fortunate they are willing to give their time to what we are doing up here. You want classy guys talking to your kids, and that’s what we’ve got here.”
Rogers starting quarterback Grayson Madland was a fixture at Big Blue camp throughout his childhood.
“Growing up, I was here as a camper for about six years,” Madland said. “Now being able to coach the camp for the third year in a row and work with these kids is a blessing.
“I love being out here,” he said. “These kids are basically feeding into our football program, so it’s important for us to give them the right direction and lead them in the right way. It’s all about commitment and teamwork.”
Bowen said close to 110 players attended the camp.
“It is one of the largest groups we’ve had, but it’s been one of the best groups,” he said. “They are locked in and really paying attention. It’s been great.”
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.