HENDERSON, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders are building on the momentum of the popular ELITE chats that were instituted this summer. The ongoing ELITE series (an acronym representing Education, Leadership, Integrity, Teamwork, Equality) consists of weekly virtual meetings with high school football programs in Southern Nevada featuring Raiders players and Alumni.
The Silver & Black recently introduced a new program, ELITE Academy, a position training platform developed by the Raiders to assist in the development of young athletes. ELITE Academy offers football position specific drills at moderate and advanced levels. In addition, ELITE Academy provides tips, film study and words of wisdom from current and alumni Raiders. Every position group is being covered during this series, which is another coffering by the Raiders in supporting the game of football at the youth level.
Wide receivers kicked off the activity, with current Raiders Nelson Agholor, Rico Gafford and Tyrell Williams and Alumnus Jacoby Ford pairing up with student-athletes from Las Vegas High School to offer tips on playing the position. The virtual session included a discussion how they began playing the position, key fundamentals/techniques that help them as well as words of encouragement and a film breakdown.
Isaiah Johnson was joined by Alumnus Leo Gray to discuss the defensive back position with student-athletes from Shadow Ridge High School while running back play was covered with Centennial High School by Alec Ingold, Jalen Richard and Alumnus Jarrod Bunch. Offensive linemen Kolton Miller, Brandon Parker, Andre James, Gabe Jackson along with Alumnus Khalif Barnes shared position techniques with Basic High School and Raekwon McMillan, Javin White, Nicholas Morrow and Alumnus Kirk Morrison offered the finer details of linebacker play to Clark High School.
Through collaborations with the Clark County School District, the Raiders identify high school programs with which to partner for the ELITE chats where current players and Alumni share with students and coaches their journeys to reach the highest level of professional football. Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner encouraged a group of students-athletes from Henderson's Liberty High School during an ELITE chat. Raiders defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins shared his story of perseverance and hard work with prep offensive and defensive linemen who are part of the Big Dawg Academy, a Las Vegas-based sports performance training program.
The ELITE chats kicked off in August with Raiders Alumni as the presenters. Other Alumni who have participated include Lamarr Houston (Rancho High), Jacoby Ford (Canyon Springs), Kevin Gogan (Del Sol High), Khalif Barnes (Spring Valley High), and Miles Burris (Chaparral High). Other Raiders Alumni who have participated in ELITE chats include Nolan Harrison, Jon Condo, Steve Wisniewski and Usama Young.