Pro Football Combine Camp back for another year


Former LSU and NFL player Mark Roman throws a pass at the 2011 Pro Football Combine Camp in Thibodaux. (Photo by File photo)


A familiar face will be missing from the Sixth Annual Pro Football Combine Camp at Nicholls State University's John L. Guidry Stadium on Friday.

Sports agent Albert Elias, who played a big role in starting the camp and helping local young athletes learn tips about football and life from several of his professional football clients in the last five years, died in his sleep at age 42 while on a trip to Colorado in December.

Although Albert Elias is no longer here physically, his memory and spirit will continue to live on through this year's Pro Football Combine Camp, which is presented by OrthoLA, Velocity Sports Performance and Elias Sports Management.

"He started it, and we're going to certainly continue it in his name," said Dr. David Elias of OrthoLa, who is Albert's brother. "It'll certainly be difficult doing it without him. This was something he looked forward to every year, and it was a good time for him to have a reunion with his family. It will be hard, but I think his old players and us realize that he would definitely want us to keep doing it and not stop because he is not here. He would want us to keep it going, and not only keep it going, but make it better."

Albert Elias took pride in putting on the annual camp at Nicholls, which attracted over 200 kids from 15 area high schools last year.

"I call this day my favorite day of the year," Albert Elias said in an interview with The Courier and Daily Comet during last year's camp. "Our goal is to not just teach the players how to play football. We want to teach them how to accomplish and achieve their goals through hard work."

Registration is still going on for this year's camp, which is for high school athletes in grades 8-12.

The camp will open with check-in from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Friday. The camp will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will consist of combine testing and scoring provided by Velocity Sports of New Orleans.

The cost of the camp is $70. Walk-up participants are welcomed to register before the event starts on Friday. All students are asked to bring a helmet, cleats and indoor shoes, and a lunch will be provided.

David Elias said he expects another big showing this year.

"This is the sixth year we've done it," David Elias said. "The camp has gotten bigger and bigger with more support from the community. Every year, we make it better and better. We plan on doing that again this year."

David Elias said the participants will receive hands-on tips and training from several current and former professional football players such as Trev Faulk, Kevin Faulk, Skyler Green, Travis Daniels, Mark Roman and others.

"A lot of (Albert's) former players will still be there at the camp," David Elias said. "They were all excited to come back and keep the camp going."

Members from Nicholls State's football team, including head coach Charlie Stubbs and several assistant coaches and players, will work the camp as counselors. Several area high school football coaches will also be on hand to work with the athletes.

David Butler, a former South Terrebonne High and LSU football player, has served as a camp coach during recent years. He said he is honored to be selected again to work at the camp.

"I just met Albert four years ago, but he treated me just like he had known me my whole career," Butler said. "That's what makes you want to go out there and help him out and do whatever he asked. He had full support for the kids. He really didn't make money off of it. It's not about the money. It's about helping the kids get some advice from professional NFL athletes. I'm glad he did something to give back to the kids."

David Elias said the public is welcomed to come out and watch the event. The camp will also hand out college scholarships during an awards ceremony to eligible senior athletes who participate.

"This camp is a non-profit organization," David Elias said. "We certainly want to give back to the community."

For information on registration, call 625-2200 or visit http://www.profootballcombinecamp.com