SPOKANE, Wash. — Mike Price and quarterbacks go hand and hand.
The former WSU football head coach helped Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf become top picks in the NFL draft. Now, he and his son Eric, who's coached in the NFL and at the Division I level, have spent this spring putting together quarterback camps throughout the Inland Northwest with their new Price Elite Passing Academy.
"I'm 76, you know. Sometimes I act like it," said Mike Price with a laugh.
Mike Price may not have the spunk he once had when he was coaching in Pullman, but his love for the game hasn't gone anywhere. His son Eric had this spring off from coaching and talked his dad into helping him out with teaching local high school quarterbacks.
"I think it's kind of a giveback to the community and to high school football in this area," said Mike Price. "It's been a while, I think, since Spokane has had a major college quarterback come out of their high school grads."
The two, along with Daniel Akey, have been travelling throughout Eastern Washington and parts of Northern Idaho holding camps for local QBs at various sites, allowing those from smaller towns a chance to travel to a closer camp location and learn from the best of the best.
"It's just skills and drills. We try to breakdown all the basic fundamentals of quarterback play. So, we slow it down for them, we teach them the drills, teach them the fundamentals and talk from their footwork all the way up. Then we'll take them in and do some chalk talks and teach basic things about what to look for when you watch your film," said Eric Price.
They've had camps since the beginning of April, seeing as many quarterbacks as they've been able to.
"We've seen over 60 quarterbacks throughout Eastern Washington and worked them out personally. So, we have a real good feel for all the quarterbacks around the area, which ones we think may be able to play at the next level or at least get a look," said Eric Price. "That's kind of what we're trying to do is get these kids a look."
All of the camps lead up to this Friday. Price Elite Passing Academy will be holding what they are calling a GSL Quarterback Showcase with an invite to all of the players they have seen throughout the spring to come compete and show off their talent in front of college scouts who the Prices have invited to come watch.
"At least they're going to have the opportunity and be in front of these coaches and had a chance to show them what they can do," said Mike Price.
But, it's not all about playing at the next level. They just want the kids to enjoy themselves.
"Going out there and kind of having fun and being under the lights and I think it's a good experience to those kids and we just wanted to give back to them," said Eric Price.
The GSL Quarterback Showcase will be held at U-High's football field on Friday night from 7-9 p.m.