For almost three years, J.C. Boice remembers hearing from John Wedin. “He kept pounding me to bring NFA to Anchorage,” said Boice, NFA’s Senior Level Quarterback Coach and Managing Director.
In June of 2014, NFA arrived in Alaska, and the results have been staggering. Under the direction of J.J. Iverson – NFA’s Lead Coach in the Last Frontier state – Alaska has been producing a bounty of impressive young quarterbacks.
“I think the offenses up here have started to open up more,” said Iverson, who also serves as the Quarterbacks Coach at state power West Anchorage High School. “Therefore, you’re going to need a good trigger man and that first camp in 2014, pretty much every starting quarterback from every high school in Alaska, not just Anchorage but Fairbanks, the Mat-Su Valley, and even Barrow, I think people realized then, especially the kids, ‘Hey, it’s pretty cool to see where I stack up against the other starting quarterbacks in the state.’ And that’s what I think drew everybody for the very next camp and the following camps, knowing this is where you get to see how you stack up against the rest of the guys in the state.”
Iverson and Boice joined forces for a January camp in Anchorage, and two more NFA training sessions are scheduled for 2017, one in March and one in June. In addition, Iverson works with NFA quarterbacks throughout the year.
“I take a lot of pride in seeing NFA take off in Alaska,” Boice said. “I think it’s a clear indicator of the three things you have to have. You have to have hungry, capable kids. You have to have a regional guy like J.J. that has a lot of skill and a commitment to the NFA methodology. And the third leg is NFA’s willingness to travel, go up there and support J.J. With the kids, I think when you get all three of those things in place, you’re going to see great results.”
Here are some of the brightest Alaskan stars that have trained with NFA:
A two-year starter at Div. I South Dakota State, which won the Missouri Valley Conference title last season, Lujan passed for 3,804 yards and 27 touchdowns as a sophomore and junior with the Jackrabbits.
A great leader, Lujan is thrilled to be associated with NFA. “NFA is the best QB camp around,” he said. “J.J. and J.C. are both great leaders of men and they know how to develop quarterback talent. I’ve been going to these camps for over eight years and I still use their terminology and self-correction methods today!”
He led West Anchorage to a state championship in 2010, and Feckley has continuied to excel at the collegiate level.
In 10 games at Div. III University of Dubuque in Iowa as a junior last season, Feckley passed for 3,129 yards and 37 touchdowns while rushing for 115 yards and 2 scores. In the Spartans’ opening game, Feckley erupted for 634 passing yards and 8 touchdowns in a win over Bethel.
Not only has he developed his own skills with NFA, Feckley has helped train other up-and-coming QBs with Iverson and Boice. “Best QB camp in Alaska, bottom line!” he said. “I still rock my NFA wristbands every day!”
He gray shirted last season at City College of San Francisco after leading West Anchorage H.S. to its third state title in six years in 2015.
The big left-hander was the quickest Alaska prep quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards in a career, and he threw 10 TD passes in three playoff games as a senior.
“An awesome opportunity to improve QB skills,” Duffy said of training with NFA. “National Football Academies helped me out with my last two seasons of high school football and played a big part in them.”
There are even more Alaskan quarterbacks with NFA ties to keep an eye on.
- Thad Heagy – A rising star at Eagle River High School.
- Aaron Egoak Jr. – Led Bartlett H.S. to semifinal games in his two years as a starter.
- Hunter Harr – As a junior at Chugiak H.S. last year he was co-first team Railbelt all-conference and second team all-state.
- Parker Kizer – A star junior at Colony H.S. last season, he was co-first team all-conference with Harr in the Railbelt and first team all-state.
- Jake D’Agostino – He has an incredibly bright future after a standout freshman season for Colony H.S. last year.
- Ja’Sem Atonio – As only an eighth grader last season, Iverson raved Atonio “is the most talented young gun I have ever seen!” He led the Pop Warner Eastside Anchorage 49ers to an undefeated season in Alaska and also helped them win the Las Vegas Pigskin Tournament for their age group. In the process, he was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.
- Zion “Bubba” Mendoza – Already a participant in NFA’s “The Duel” competition held every July, Mendoza, only a freshman, quickly became an explosive junior varsity player who eventually was moved up to the varsity to start at wide receiver.
“Even in a remote area like Alaska, you’re seeing some very effective football being played,” Boice said. “The kids are really advancing their games. I love working with them because they are hard working, focused, talented kids. They’re tough and they like working.”