Another Duel, another rousing success

NFA Founder/President Darin Slack at the Duel

Another Duel, another rousing success

MASSILLION, Ohio – Take a bow, all of you nearly 150 quarterbacks that arrived at historic Paul Brown Stadium on Friday for NFA’s fifth annual Duel.
And take a bow, NFA coaches. You’ve earned one as well.
“The Duel is payday,” beamed Darin Slack, NFA’s Founder/President. “This is payday for the kids; it’s payday for the coaches. This is our way to come together and celebrate.”
Along with top-flight NFA coaches like Will Hewlett, JC Boice, Dub Maddox, Mansur Ivie, Rod Robison, Adam Britt, Chad Case, Reid Roe, Todd Espeland, Kenny Jackson, James Martinez and Steve Gregory from the Quarterback Farm, Slack made sure NFA’s showcase event got off to a celebratory beginning.

Coach Slack weighs in

In the shadows of the NFA Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Coach Slack delivered another passionate speech to the upstart QBs who made the trip from all over the country and Canada, then he heaped even more praise on the coaching staff.
“We’re building D-I coaches here, too,” Slack said. “We’re talking about guys that by and large are coaching at a D-I level. Most of the real D-I coaches now are not developmental in nature because they’re recruiting coaches … that’s their job. They have to recruit athletes. They have to recruit kids that can already do it.
“At NFA, we’re a little different,” Slack continued. “We can’t recruit coaches who simply are scheme guys, who are recruiting experts. That’s not what this is about. This a developmental program, which means they have to know and specialize in a way that allows them to communicate to kids that may not be able to qualify for that college opportunity just yet. A lot of college coaches can take them through a camp and filter them out and shuffle them off to lesser coaches and keep the talented ones. Here, every coach has got to be willing to go down to the lowest common demoninator and coach.”
That has been the mission since NFA first opened its doors, and very little has changed through the years.

NFA message

“The message of NFA, besides the love of football, is we love each other and it’s not about us,” Slack said. “It’s about moving the chains and Passio. We keep those things central.”
NFA also continues to churn out college-ready quarterbacks, and showcase events like the Duel keeps priming the pipeline.
“These kids are here to compete,” Slack said. “And they’re here to showcase themselves. What I hope will happen is each of these guys will get around other people and show out.”
Before the Duel started Friday, Slack gave his usual uplifting address to the assembled QBS.
For this year’s event, Slack addressed the importance of the acronym BEST.
B: Is for Breathe, which is what every good quarterback needs to do when the expected stress and nerves come into play.
E: Is for Engage, which means you do not worry about failure.
S: Is for Sacrifice, which means everything you give has to be your best.
T: Is for Tough, and that means physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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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