ORLANDO, Fla. - Among those who participated in Saturday's Elite 11 Camp at the University of Central Florida was Plant City (Fla.) rising junior quarterback Nick Rodriguez. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback enjoyed working amongst his peers.
"It has been good to get out here and compete," Rodriguez said after the competition. "It has definitely been a new thing. Being behind Bennie (Coney), I have always been used to competition and watching things like this but now I am getting into it. You have to compete."
Coney, a highly-touted senior quarterback for Plant City, has helped Rodriguez to progress at a quicker pace because every day of practice is a battle.
"It is a competition," Rodriguez said. "He is always on me, if I make a bad throw he lets me know. Same thing for me, I keep him going and make sure he doesn't get lackadaisical. It is definitely a big competition. It makes both of us better players."
As a sophomore, Rodriguez worked at wide receiver until a suspension to Coney forced him to quickly move to quarterback. It wasn't a lot to ask of the sophomore during the middle of the season but the camaraderie and support of his teammates paved the way for him to find a level of comfort under center.
"I was nervous at first but then I talked to some of the veteran players and the offensive line and they had my back," Rodriguez said. "I think that is what really stuck in my head, that my offensive line had my back and with them I could do anything."
The dual-threat quarterback hopes that his limited clips at quarterback as a sophomore combined with some upcoming camp plans will lead to interest from Division I schools.
"I haven't really heard from anyone yet," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully doing things like the Elite 11 and such will help me out."
At this time, Rodriguez plans to attend a few camps during the offseason, including the Miami Nike Camp.