Joe Dickinson owns nearly four decades of football coaching experience, including several seasons as an OU assistant.
He’s transitioned into a role as a quarterback guru with recent local pupils like Daxx Garman and David Cornwell.
Dickinson founded his quarterback classroom camp, a two-day event featuring QB’s from several states, upon the mental side of football.
Spending twice as long studying over actual play on the field.
“As we get in closer to the season here a lot of the focus, is all spent on, most of the year around is out on the field,” Dickinson, Debartolo Sports University's lead quarterback coach, said. “This is more focused on the classroom. What basically ends up being what you do in college football, you spend twice as much time in the classroom as you do on the field. So I try to bring that to try to get these guys ready for their season.”
A popular ESPN segment inspired Dickinson to create the camp, using near one on one interaction to maximize learning and potential.
“I think they’re getting a ton out of it, and this is not something that happens all over the country,” Dickinson said. “It kind of came off the idea of Gruden and his quarterback camp off ESPN, how he brings in one on one guys.”
“He’s putting the spotlight on you,” Brandon George, a rising junior quarterback from Jones High School, said. “He asks you the questions and he does anything to try and really dig deep into your brain to see what you’re thinking, so he can tell you yea that’s right or no that’s not how you should do it. He tells you how to do it so you can just continue to improve.”
Dickinson says his quarterbacks will get around 12 hours of work in with him and his staff, with on the field drills, breaking down film and even diagramming a play or two.
The number one thing he wants his signal callers to take away from this event is to be able to have things slow down in a game, so they can succeed at their high schools and maybe even beyond.
“Most people that’s never done it, hey, quarterbacks a very stressful, stressful situation,” Dickinson said. “It’s the most stressful position in sports. We’re trying to take some of that stress of, and slow it down so they can be more successful.”
“You have a different burden than what other players do,” Matt Harman, a rising junior quarterback at Cashion High School, said. “It’s difficult, but when Joe helps you out with that and your coaches help you out with that, my coaches do a great job at Cashion and so does Joe. I mean, I don’t think I’d be able to do it without them.”
“The board work and just understanding defenses is probably the thing that I get from him that I don’t get from other people,” Michael McMullen, a rising senior quarterback at Heritage Hall High School, said. “He’s helped me throw a bit, but this is really the main thing. This is really helpful.”
For some campers, like Douglass High School quarterback Patrick McKaufman, the rewards from the extra work are already paying off.
“Actually yesterday, we came here first then went to seven on seven with my school and it helped me,” McKaufman. “It’s like playing by myself. It was easy, just picking a part defenses without any hesitation.”
For Dickinson it all comes down to sharing his knowledge with the future of football.
“Luckily enough I had my run in this business, and football’s been very good to me,” Dickinson said. “It’s giving back to these kids and trying to pass on my thirty years of knowledge in football.”
“He actually cares,” George said. “He’s not having other high school coaches come and run it and he sits back and watches it. He’s there trying to build a relationship with the kids and when he sees them improve he lets them know that. That’s all you have to do. He’s always there helping.”