Oakland Raiders: LT Jared Veldheer Makes Lasting Impression at Youth Football Camp
Stuart Kovacs – Jul 20, 2012
Oakland Raiders’ offensive lineman Jared Veldheer has made it clear that he wants be known for more than just protecting the blindside of quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Raiders’ third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft also wants to be synonymous with making a difference in the community.
In just two short years, Veldheer is well on his way to doing that as he has already established a strength and conditioning facility for aspiring athletes, as well as holding a youth football camp for high school football players.
It is through his inaugural Respect the Game Football Camp, which was held this past Tuesday, that is getting everyone talking about Veldheer’s work off of the field, according to Brain VanOchten of Michigan Live.
In addition to the many special guests that were in attendance to give the participants important lectures, Veldheer was also there teaching blocking fundamentals and talking about what is needed to be successful on the collegiate and professional levels.
One of the partakers in Veldheer’s camp, Evan Akins, was greatly impressed with what the NFL star had to say. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds and only 16 years old, Akins is already preparing for a career in football.
“I’ve been to a lot of college camps. He definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s like a film reel. He’s a technician out there.”
Veldheer is elated to be making a positive impact on these kids. He hopes the camp, which will be donating all of its proceeds to the Metro Health Hospital to provide free heart screenings for high school football players, will help the kids in their pursuit of football careers.
“I’m trying to touch on all aspects of the game. I want them to leave here having learned one or two things they’re going to remember and that’ll help them on the field in the upcoming season.”
He has done just that through the teachings and special lectures that the participants received. Among the guests in attendance were former football player Ray Bentley, current Jacksonville Jaguar Cameron Bradfield, and sports medicine specialist Dr. Ed Kornoelje.
Bentley, a former linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, gave advice to those who play on the other side of the ball. He provided the participants valuable instruction on how to tackle properly, which he believes will lead to more consistent play as well as decreasing the chance of a concussion.
“The big thing now is you have to protect your head. The best advice I can give you about tackling is to keep your head and your eyes up. You should never intentionally lead with your head. Use your hands. Your hands, other than your mind, are the most effective weapon you have when it comes to making tackles.”
Bradfield, who is entering his second-year in the NFL, knows how hard of a worker Veldheer is. The two have developed a great relationship, which Bradfield believes will greatly benefit his career.
“I’ve been working out with him since the lockout last year. His type of work ethic really showed me what I needed to do to be successful in the NFL. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Veldheer is looking forward to a new beginning in Oakland. Similar to many players, his main goal is to win that treasured Super Bowl ring.
“The biggest thing this year is I want to get over that 8-8 hump and get into the playoffs. I want to play for a Super Bowl ring.”
As he departs for Raiders’ Training Camp next week, Veldheer knows that his main focus now is on football. However, the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl Alternate still hopes to make a difference in the lives of many.
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