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SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2007
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Taye Biddle, wide receiver for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, conducts drills at a speed camp at Decatur High on Saturday morning.
Daily photos by John Godbey
Taye Biddle, wide receiver for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, conducts drills at a speed camp at Decatur High on Saturday morning.

Speed thrills
NFL’s Biddle and friends offer quickness advice

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Taye Biddle gave back to his community in a big way Saturday.

Biddle’s inaugural speed camp at Decatur High School attracted 182 participants and many well-known coaches. Perhaps the best part for the youngsters — it was free.

Alabama wide receiver and former Hartselle standout Nikita Stover and Tide defensive back Eric Gray, along with Auburn defensive back and former Decatur High standout Jerraud Powers, were a few names helping out.

Conley Duncan, former All-SEC linebacker from Alabama, who lives in Decatur, was there, too.

So were Decatur High football coach Jere Adcock and assistant coach Lee Cagle as well as Austin High assistant coach Mitchell Knox

Gray said helping give back to the community is something he enjoys.

“I love being able to interact with kids and get on their level,” said Gray, who prepped at West
Morgan High in Trinity. “Hopefully if they see us doing something like this, then they will want to give back, too.”

Participants at this year’s camp got to show off their speed in four different stations.

Biddle worked with the youngsters from ages 4 to 18 on the 40-yard dash, while Gray and Stover helped them with footwork. Powers helped with hip work and Duncan helped on acceleration.

After receiving a phone call from Biddle about a month ago asking if he would come and help, Gray told him to send him in the information and he would be there. Although he wasn’t sure how many children would show up, he said Saturday’s turnout was a great start.

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Speed and agility instructor Conley Duncan, right, gives campers instructions before drills begin at the inaugural Taye Biddle Speed Camp at Decatur High School on Saturday morning. More than 100 athletes participated. Duncan is a former all-SEC linebacker at Alabama.
“Taye’s camp was a huge success,” Gray said. “I enjoyed getting to work with the kids and signing autographs. This is definitely something I want to continue to help and work with.”

With Biddle being a former Red Raider, Adcock is excited about Biddle’s success. Biddle played at Ole Miss before signing with the Panthers of the NFL.

“This was big for Taye,” Adcock said. “This was one of his first chances to do something for the kids in the community and he had a great turnout for it. He really stepped up for the kids, and it does my heart good to see something like this. I’m really excited for him.”

Each camper received a T-shirt and refreshments. Awards were given. Biddle said the camp was part of his community service hours he gives as a member of the Panthers.

The Decatur Youth Services under the direction of Bruce Jones, a former NFL player, assisted with the camp.

Biddle added local sponsors help make the camp a success.

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