Crook County High School senior earns award at Stanford football camp

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Brandon Zemp, left, steps in front of a receiver and intercepts a pass during a recent Crook County High School scrimmage. Zemp was recently named the most valuable player at an elite defensive back camp which was held at Stanford University.

Brandon Zemp is planning on playing college football.
   Zemp started on both offense and defense for the 2011 Crook County Cowboy football team and is expected to take on an even bigger role this season.
   Although he likes offense, Zemp’s passion is defense, so this summer he traveled to Stanford University for an elite defensive back camp.
   “It was awesome,” he said. “It’s improved my technique drastically. At first I could just barely play man-to-man defense, but by the end of the camp, I could cover just about anyone.”
   The claim may not be a boast. By the end of the camp, Zemp had caught the attention of the entire coaching staff. He ended up being named the most valuable player over more than 200 other defensive backs.
   The Stanford camp was held at the same time as a quarterback and receiver camp. The defensive backs spent most of their time working with other defensive backs on skills.
   “We learned a bunch of advanced drills for better man-to-man coverage,” Zemp said. “We worked off press and off cover as well as zone coverage, and then they combined the two camps so we could do drills.”
   Zemp has been timed at 4.64 seconds for a 40-yard dash. Not blazing speed, but much faster than average. Although technique is important, Zemp did rely on his speed during the camp.
   “I had the best breaks and I was the fastest in all the drills,” he said.
   Zemp said that he believes that the camp experience has made him a better football player. He is hoping that will increase his opportunities to play in college.
   However, more important to Zemp is the current high school season.
   “We are a lot bigger than we were last year,” he said. “I’m excited about the season. I think what I’ve learned is going to make a difference and I just want to help the team any way that I can.”