Mike Price knows a little something about quarterbacks – and now he’s sharing that knowledge with athletes across the area.
The former Washington State head coach, along with his son Eric, started Price Elite Passing Academy to groom high school quarterbacks into college-level players.
They have been coaching small groups of players in clinics across Eastern Washington and North Idaho this spring. Friday at University High School, the academy will bring many of those athletes together to conduct a showcase of area quarterbacks under the lights.
The showcase is from 7-9 p.m. and free for spectators.
Price expects players from most of the Greater Spokane League teams, plus others from smaller schools and Idaho to show off their skills. Eric Price said they’ve invited players from more than 20 schools to participate.
“We’ve been doing these with smaller groups, with a 3-to-1 ratio or so players to coaches,” Price said. “The showcase is a chance to get them all together.”
Price brings instant credibility to these camps. The longtime WSU coach (1989-2002), who helped Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf become top picks in the NFL draft, is 76 now and the new business venture allows him to work with even younger athletes and alongside his son.
The Prices, assisted by Daniel Akey, the son of former Idaho coach Robb Akey, have worked with roughly 60 high school quarterbacks across the region in sessions from Coeur d’Alene to Everett and just about everywhere in-between starting in April.
The clinics are full of quarterbacking drills and instruction, and the instructors try to instill a fundamental approach to quarterback play. The Prices also conduct chalk talks and break down film to help the young players understand what college coaches look for in the highest-profile position on the field.
Friday’s event gives these players an opportunity to compare their skills against the others in the area and show off in front of talent scouts the Prices have invited to the showcase.
The smaller camps the Prices have conducted across the region this spring have been “extremely popular,” Mike Price said.
“We always really loved Pullman and the whole area, and this is a way to give back,” he said. “It’s been a while since Spokane has had a Division I quarterback come out of the area and there’s no reason why it can’t.”