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April 29, 2010
B2G Sports is all about competition
Thierry Nguema he has to do 100 push-ups for dropping a pass that could have been intercepted.LOS ANGELES - B2G Sports co-founder Henry Bell stands in the middle of a 7-on-7 drill and is telling cornerback
Bell is serious. Nguema drops and starts pumping them out.
The offense is led by Michael Bercovici, who has one of the strongest arms in southern California and was one of the best quarterbacks at last weekend's Los Angeles Nike Camp.
At wide receiver is 2012 standout Gabriel Marks, the position MVP at that same Nike Camp. Chris Brown, who's hearing a lot from UCLA, and Aaron Almond are in the secondary. So is Simon Connette. Los Angeles Dorsey standout Matthew Lyons is sitting in the back of the end zone out sick. He's just here to watch.
USC commit Antwaun Woods is seen on the other side of the field working on line drills. Charles Burks, who has a Stanford offer, is finally sitting and taking a break, watching the portion of practice Bell calls "Money Time" when the best players go against each other in 7-on-7 competition.
This is a typical Sunday at B2G Sports. It's no stroll - this is serious business with one goal in mind: Get the best players from southern California together to compete and then everyone gets better. No fooling around, no wasted time. Tough drills, tough coaches and tough players only.
"We attract a certain type of kid," Bell said. "The No. 1 thing we've seen in our program is the kids coming to our program whether they're four- or five-star guys or kids not even on the radar, they all want to get better and they all want to take on the challenge we present.
"Not only do they take it on, they know when they leave there isn't going to be anyone even remotely close to what they've done until they get to the college level.
"Knowing that going in that's more attractive to them than someone selling them on the NFL dream or selling them to go to a camp of the masses when they know they're going to get the best work when they come to our event. There is no fluff and they know what we put them through will directly translate to what they do on the field."
B2G Sports, co-founded by Bell and Ron Allen, has been around for 11 years and its alumni list is impressive. Included on that list are Joshua Shaw (Florida), Brennan Clay (Oklahoma), Bryan Bennett (Oregon), Dillon Baxter and D.J. Morgan (USC), Josh Shirley and Dietrich Riley (UCLA), Kevin Smith (Washington) and that's only some of the top 2010 prospects.
Tate Forcier (Michigan) and C.J. Gable (USC) worked out at B2G Sports. So did Dennis Dixon (Oregon) and Steve Smith (USC) and the list goes on and on.
B2G Sports runs these Sunday workouts and players - the ones who want to get better, who thrive on competition - show up each week. There is also the B2G Elite Camp which will be held July 15-18 at Cal Lutheran University and the B2G Junior Elite Camp from July 29-31 in Los Angeles.
"We've been around for 11 years and within those 11 years we were able to do something that was significantly different than what was available at the time," Bell said. "When we started the only thing that was remotely close to us was the Elite 11. Everybody was doing camps for the masses, there would be 400-500 kids and a majority of those kids would never see a Saturday afternoon.
"We came up with the basketball concept, the ABCD, Sonny Vaccaro-style for football where we select only 65 of the best guys. From that point, our name has been known with the best guys in the Western region because those guys coming to our Elite Camp over the last few years have done well not only in high school but have done well on the college level as well as some on the pro level."
Players swear by B2G Sports - even though they're dead tired after the workouts, shirts soaked with sweat and they're ready to go home. Like Bell said, B2G attracts a certain type of kid, players like Burks, who has developed a reputation as a workhorse and a non-stop competitor. The way he goes through drills shows he wants it. He never takes a play off, never relaxes even if the coach is looking the other way.
"They work us pretty tough but we get a lot of competition so the other guys push us and make us want to do better and that makes us want to push each other and compete," Burks said.
Same thing with Connette, whose brother, Brandon, plays at Duke. During a recent break in the action, Connette stopped by to introduce himself and provide a recruiting update. Then he jumped right back in the drills, this time one-on-one competition against some top receivers with Bell watching closely.
Competition rules here. That's why the top players show up. And that's why B2G Sports has been such a hit in California.
"Going against the best of the best has been important," Connette said. "B2G brings out all of the best athletes all around California, they have the Inland, they have L.A., all over the place and so it's really good exposure to go against the best. It makes you better."
For more information on workouts and camps visit b2gsports.com.