Gage Messick and Ke’Shun Townsend had both a fun and hard time this week at the Nick Saban Football Camp in Tuscaloosa.
From Sunday until Wednesday, the Andalusia athletes participated in drills to improve their performance on the gridiron.
Messick and Townsend did so well at the camp that they were selected to the All-Saban Team for their efforts.
“It was fun and hard at the same time,” Townsend said.
Each camp day was filled with almost 12 hours of workouts from 8:30 a.m. until 8 that night.
This was Messick’s second time to go to the camp. He focused on the running back position at this year’s camp. In 2012, he learned more about being a quarterback.
There wasn’t a difference between the two years at the camp, Messick said.
While at the camp, Messick and Townsend went through two tests to measure their agility on the field.
Messick, who said he’s a bit taller than 4-foot, 4-inches, ran a 5.53 40-yard dash, jumped a 20-inch vertical and had a 6-foot-5-inch long jump. Townsend, at 164 pounds, ran a 5.18 40-yard dash, jumped the vertical 23-inch vertical and had a 6-foot-2-inch long jump.
Townsend signed up for the camp to play at outside linebacker, but was instead moved to another position.
“They didn’t have enough people (in the outside linebacker group),” he said. “So, they worked me in at safety and cornerback.”
Saban’s camp taught the Andalusia duo a lot about proper stances, not committing false starts, how to pick up speed and foot work. Additionally, campers got to have a picture with Saban.
Messick’s father, Russell, said he learned about the camp when former Alabama and current Kansas City linebacker Nico Johnson gave him a brochure with information. From there, he went online and signed Gage up.
Townsend heard about it from former San Antonio Spurs basketball guard Robert Horry’s wife, Ke’Shun’s aunt.
Messick, the son of Russell and Connie Messick, is a rising fifth-grader at Andalusia Elementary School. Townsend, the son of Ken Townsend and Daphne Taylor, is a rising freshman at Andalusia High School.