Millennium High defensive back Malik Charles, who will be a junior in the fall, and Kimball High running back Gaige Allen, who begins his senior year, were both selected for Team USA following the USA Football regional camp March 16 and 17 at Chabot College in Hayward.
Millennium’s Charles said the regional camp was a chance to go up against players from California, Washington and Oregon, and he is looking forward to joining talented players from around the U.S. this month.
“I believe I will come out of this game as a better player individually,” he said. “I will be getting experience against the players that I’ll have to go up against to go up to the college level.”
Charles will attend USA Football’s International Development Week, July 6 to 12, in Austin, Texas. It will be his opportunity to get into international competition as part of Team USA Under-17 squad.
After a week of drills, workouts and practices, his team will play against the Canadian National U-17 team.
The defensive back, who is entering his third year with Millennium, said he also looks forward to being noticed by college scouts. But most of all he wants to make a good enough impression to be invited back next year.
“They invited me there because they believed that I had what it took and I had what it took to make the team,” he said.
Kimball’s Allen was selected for the U18 team, but instead of going to Texas, he opted to continue working with his Kimball teammates in preparation for a team camp at West High the week of July 15.
Allen followed up the USA Football regional camp in March with the Nike Football SPARQ Combine on May 18 at Laney College in Oakland, where he was ranked 32nd among 1,000 athletes in tests that included the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and power throw. The combine focuses on an athlete’s speed, power, agility, reactions and quickness.
Allen said he was tempted by competition with Team USA, but he decided he would rather continue his conditioning and stay healthy for the 2013 Valley Oak League season.
Toward that end, he spent part of June attending skills camps put on by local universities, including U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, U.C. Davis and San Jose State.
“That makes up for it,” Allen said. “At those camps, it was just development, making me a better player. It was about technique, and it gets your name out there so coaches can watch you and see what you can do on the field.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.