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Buffs QBs To Wear Helmet Cam During Spring Practice

Mar 31, 2009

BOULDER - CU's quarterbacks will have a new accessory on their helmets for spring practice.  A military grade point-of-view camera will be attached to their helmets via velcro.

"It's still a little bit in the testing phase," CU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich said.  "I've tried to do it places in the past, and it's never really worked how it should.  But I'm hoping technology has advanced and these cameras will do the trick."

The footage will be synchronized with the overhead coaches' video to help Helfrich determine exactly what the quarterbacks are looking at as the play progresses.

"It sounds maybe a little elementary in terms of what you teach quarterbacks," Helfrich said. "But one of the hardest things to reinforce as coaches is exactly what the quarterback's are looking at and teaching them where they should be looking."

Helfrich has also placed a white stripe on the quarterback's helmets, which he has also done in the past, to help determine on the wider video angles what general direction the quarterbacks are looking at, but he's hoping the cameras will be a big leap forward in that development.

"It will help us figure out exactly what their field of vision is," coach Dan Hawkins said.  "If we know where they're looking, it helps us teach them from their point of view."

It will be the responsibility of Jamie Guy, CU's director of sports video, to take the video and match it up with the other wide coaches' video for a complete point of reference view.

The camera is not wireless, it makes a digital recording on a card similar to one you would see in any standard still digital camera.  The quarterbacks will also have to wear hand warmers around their waist backwards in order to house the recording units on their bodies.

Guy saw the cameras at the AFCA convention in January and was immediately hooked.  The football field is not the main marketing place for these cameras; their main use is for military, law enforcement and public safety.  The cameras are waterproof, dustproof and shock-resistant, but they are likely only going to be used for the quarterbacks in the near future. 

Hawkins also told the team during a meeting Monday night prior to the start of spring football that the coaches will be handing out helmet stickers throughout the spring.  There are a variety of ways a player can earn a sticker, from academic achievement to excelling at other off-the-field activities along with solid play on the field to reinforce Hawkins' complete-person philosophy.

CU has done variations on the helmet stickers in the past, but for the most part they have been given to position winners for various games, so the most stickers a player could accumulate in the past has been 12.