Luke Poorman raves about OpC4 camp


Luke Poorman raves about OpC4 camp

After a stellar sophomore season as the starting JV quarterback at University High School in Orlando, Fla., Luke Poorman is ready to take over the starting varsity job as a junior. Looking ahead, he should be very well prepared to handle any challenge that comes his way.

Poorman was one of 19 quarterbacks invited to NFA’s first annual OpC4 camp in Tampa from January 1-4 and he was amazed by the experience. “It was tough, definitely,” Poorman said. “They pushed us to the brink of exhaustion. The first night they gave us a playbook and we had to memorize it. Then we woke the next morning and went to the beach and did a workout at 6 o’clock. I got to learn a bunch of stuff through all the practices, but one thing they really focused on was leadership. And as a quarterback, you obviously need to be a very good leader.”

Designed and executed by NFA Founder/President Darin Slack and Coaches Will Hewlett, Dub Maddox and Reid Roe, OpC4 (short for Operation C4) is built on the four key words that NFA believes reflect the best attributes of great quarterbacks and great men: Confidence, Character, Consistency, and Commitment.

OpC4 provided a tempo and installation challenge similar to a college-level training experience. Leadership qualities were also stressed at the camp, and various military leaders were on hand to speak to the athletes.

For Poorman, OpC4 was the perfect way to kick off 2014. “It’s going to help me a lot because knowing how hard that was, I’ll be able to refer back to that and say, ‘Hey, I’m able to push through stuff like this,'” he said. “It’s going to help me better myself as a player and I’ll be able to push my teammates through tough spots.”

‘Leadership under pressure’

Jim Poorman, Luke’s dad, was equally impressed with the OpC4 camp. “I was excited for the camp because I knew that Darin, Dub and Will were planning something that would focus even more intently on character and especially leadership under pressure,” Jim said. “Sure, these skills will be great for football, but more importantly these are the types of principles that they will need as men to lead their families, love their wives and live courageously. Let’s face it, football will be over in a matter of years. This training was for life. Even though Luke was exhausted and sore and pushed to the limit, he didn’t want it to end. The camaraderie of doing this with other QBs and ‘teammates’ made the experience that much more meaningful. I think as men we’re built to do battle together, there’s just something profound about locking arms with brothers and doing something very difficult. It’s exhilarating being on a mission together.”

Luke Poorman is now better prepared to play for University H.S.’s varsity team next season. This past season, he led the Cougars’ JV team to a 5-2 record while completing 63 of 81 passes for 827 yards and 16 touchdowns.

A standout student – he has a 4.66 GPA in University High School’s International Baccalaureate Program – Poorman has been playing quarterback since the third grade and he is looking forward to stepping up to the varsity level. “Just being the guy that everybody looks to in that time of need, it’s something I really enjoy,” Poorman said. “Say you’re down in the fourth quarter and everybody turns to you. You’ve got to be that guy that leads everyone through the storm, so to speak. It might sound crazy but when there’s a lot of pressure in the last few seconds of a game, having everything in my hands at that moment is great.”


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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University