Instead of heading out to one of the top party spots around the country, 2014 Texas Longhorns quarterback signee Jerrod Heard has sainted made his way out to California to work with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield, according to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports.
Heard is the only quarterback currently in high school mentioned among the participants in the camp, which includes Baylor's Bryce Petty, Arizona State's Taylor Kelly, and North Carolina's Marquise Williams.
The Denton Guyer product also hasn't added a ton of mass to his frame in the last several years, but told Feldman that he is now up to 205 pounds.
Besides the pure level of dedication to make the trip out to San Diego to get some high-level instruction, it's a positive development for Heard after he improved dramatically during the Elite 11 process last spring when working with Trent Dilfer on his sequencing, which quickly translated into better mechanics and consistently tighter spin on the football during his senior season.
If Heard can improve working under Whitfield as the same rate that he did at Elite 11, he should come back to Texas as a better quarterback.
Whitfield is now in his 10th year of training quarterbacks and has worked with 75 quarterbacks who have gone on to play at the FCS and FBS levels and did notable stints working with Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Johnny Manziel.
Known for some unorthodox techniques in his training sessions, Whitfield calls himself a "quarterback builder" and sometimes uses a broom to work with quarterbacks on their footwork, among other unique training methods:
The broom is Whitfield's idea, born from one of the countless coaching camps he's attended. So are the beanbags he tosses to various spots on the field to make Luck move and readjust while keeping his eyes on his target. Whitfield also likes to take quarterbacks to the beach, where he instructs them to drop back into the water, set their feet in the sand and launch spirals as waves crash into their backs.
And while the Elite 11 process spends quite a bit of time on scheme, recognizing coverages, and learning a large playbook given to them for the Finals, Whitfield just cares about fundamentals:
According to Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who likely will be sending in play calls to Luck next season, that relentless focus on fundamentals is what separates Whitfield from other private tutors. He has no problem deferring to coaches who can teach his clients more about schemes and coverages -- Whitfield just wants to teach them how to throw. "A lot of young guys only think about schemes and never teach fundamentals," Arians says. "If you're seen as a schematic genius, that's how you move up in this profession. George is different."
The work with Whitfield probably won't be enough for Heard to see the field during his freshman season, but it's another positive sign in a trajectory that keeps on trending upwards for the US Army All-American and two-time state champion.