Top Gun: Fort Rucker youth keeps NFL in sights
August 8, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 8, 2013) -- Setting goals in life is something everyone is familiar with, but one Army Family member is setting his sights on the highest level as he shoots for his dreams.
Michael T. Huff, wide receiver for Enterprise High School and son of Sgt. 1st Class Michael Huff, enlisted aid to the commanding general, joined an elite few who were invited to the invitation-only Football University Top Gun Camp in Dublin, Ohio. Huff went above and beyond, standing out amongst his peers, according to a press release from Football University.
"Michael was invited to Top Gun based on his outstanding performance at the Atlanta, Ga., Football University camp he attended, and (he) was ranked in the top three at the wide receiver position for the 2016 class," it read. "He joined more than 1,000 of the nation's other top athletes at their position, and trained with current and former (National Football League) players and coaches."
"It was a great experience for me," said the 15-year-old football star. "I had a lot of fun and I felt really good about myself since I got invited to the camp, which is a pretty hard thing to do. I got to go against some of the best defensive backs in the nation, and they were good, but they couldn't really cover me that well."
During the camp, Huff participated in one-on-one drills, seven-on-seven drills, was taught how to read game footage, and how to apply what he learned, and even how to deal with the press.
"The biggest thing I learned was the right way to run my routes, and that takes a lot of hard work, but my favorite part was the one-on-ones and the seven-on-sevens," he said. "I got past my guy every time and I caught the ball a lot."
Huff gained interest in football at an early age while tossing a foam football around with his father, who coached youth football, and watching the sport on TV. And although he's only 15 years old, he's been playing the sport for more than eight years.
He got his first taste of football while his Family was stationed in Kentucky, but was only able to play in the flag-football league because of his age. It wasn't until his Family moved to Alaska that he was able to play tackle football for the Pop Warner league and showcase his talent.
Huff was named defensive MVP in the 2010 championship game for Pop Warner, which included two interceptions, six tackles and two touchdowns.
"I never thought he'd be a football player, at least not one that has excelled as much as he has," said Huff senior. "I watched him grow up and I thought there might be a good chance he could play college football, but I didn't think it would be anything like this."
After high school, Huff hopes to attend college, but hasn't made a decision on any college in particular, and although he plans to excel in football, he's making sure that his education is a top priority as well.
"I want to play college football, but right now, I'm undecided on my major," he said. "I do like science and English a lot, and if I can't make it through football, I'm looking at going to school to become a doctor or a lawyer."
Eventually, however, Huff said he has his sights set on the NFL, and he's working hard to get to that point -- working out at least five hours a day on top of his daily routine with a personal trainer.
"This experience has made me just want to work that much harder to get to the top," he said. "Like (the coaches) said to me during the camp, 'when you're at the high school level, work like you're at the college level, and when you're at the college level, work like you're in the NFL, and when you're in the NFL, work and fight like your job is on the line.'"
Huff senior admits that he's his son's biggest and harshest critic, but said he's only that way because he knows that if his son wants to set his sights as high as he has, he knows how much work it's going to take.
"I'm very proud of my son, but if you're going to do something, you've got to give 110 percent," said the sergeant. "You make that commitment and push yourself. If you don't want to do it, there's somebody else out there that wants to be in your shoes, and if it's something you really want to do, you've got to give it your all."