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Football clinic features former NFL Lineman

Written by: on Saturday, March 17th, 2012. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


QUAKERTOWN – Saturday afternoon FASST Football Academy had a lineman clinic headed by former Pittsburgh Steeler Offensive right guard Darnell Stapleton.

The camp is for any football player looking to improve their football skills during the off-season.

Stapleton is regarded as one of the finest line coaches in America and works with college players who are looking to continue their careers in the NFL. Darnell teaches special techniques to improve offensive lineman strength and speed.

The former Rutgers center was a undrafted free agent following the 2007 NFL draft. In 2008 he started 12 games at offensive right guard and in 2009 Darnell earned a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers.

Before he was a star center a Rutgers he played at Hudson Valley Community College.

He talked about education to the players and why it is important. “I tried to stress it goes hand and hand. The important part of being a student athlete is being a student first and a athlete as well.”

Darnell talked about today’s athlete, “These kids are really athletic. I think they are ahead of where I was when I was their age. I try to stress to them to stay focused and understand what you put into this game is what you will get back. If you go 50 percent you are only going to get 50 percent. If you put everything you have in it you will get a lot in return.”

Helping Darnell today is New Hampshire offensive lineman Mike Coccia. Coccia is a former player from Bethlehem Freedom where he was named first-team all-conference and first-team all-area. “I came down to help out the young guys,” said Coccia. “It’s nice to give back and see what these kids are doing and maybe I can help them get where I am at.”

Today’s clinic featured players from Phillipsburg (NJ), Pennridge, Southern Lehigh, Central Bucks East, Pius X and many more schools. “It gives us a chance to work with kids one-on-one,” said FASST Performance owner Jason Brader.

Brader is a former All-American running back at Muhlenberg College and recently was named to the Muhlenberg College athletic Hall of Fame.

Following his athletic career he founded FASST (Functional Athletic Speed & Strength Training). Jason is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

He trains youth, college and professional athletes. Brader talked about what they do at FASST, “We help them approve their strength, speed and agility.”

A couple of lineman that stood out today. One was Sophomore Deion Oliver from Central Bucks East.

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound right tackle talked about why he likes being a lineman, “I like being a lineman because of the combination of strength and speed. My biggest strength is my athleticism.”

The other lineman who stood out today was Southern Lehigh’s Andrew Terlingo. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound junior has offers from schools like, Buffalo, Illinois, Kent State, Penn State, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Terlingo talked about blocking, “The biggest thing for me is seeing the running back burst through the line and score a touchdown.”


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