Earlier this month, ( May 1st 2010) Upland ( California) quarterback Nate Romine (Row-mine) took his first unofficial trip to the University of Oregon before competition at the Oregon's Nike Camp the next day. As a freshman, the 5 foot 11, 171-pound Romine was brought up week 2 on varsity during Upland's CIF Championship season this past fall. Romine will be in a special class when he graduates in 2013. Only a handful of four year letterman has come out of the rich tradition program that has been to the CIF Championship Finals- 5 times out of the last 14 years under Upland's head coach Tim Salter.
Why Oregon for the young dual-threat quarterback from So Cal. "At Upland, Coach Salter talked about installing some of Oregon's spread zone read offense in the near future. I paid close attention to the football program and the university this past season. I have liked everything I have heard and saw so far about the University. Since I will be majoring in business law when I attend college, the brand new John E. Jaqua Academic Center for student athletes will be something I will look forward too if Oregon is my school of choice. I was so astonished on how the building was three stories tall encased completely in glass. Its 40,000 square feet, over 50 computers and around 35 tutor rooms. I was blown away on other features it has as well. The student athletes at Oregon are set up for success really well there. That stood out big time for me"
Romine who carries a current 4.0 gpa in Honor's and AP classes had a great time talking to Oregon's coaching staff before the spring game in the Len Casanova Center. "I had the honor and privilege to sit down and meet Offense Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Helfrich and Coach Osborne. It was a very busy and hectic morning for them and for the coaches to take the time out to meet with me and Coach Esquivel for over 30 minutes was awesome. Coach Helfrich and Coach Osborne were very informative about the football program, and the uniqueness of the university has to offer a student athlete. One big thing I picked up on that both coaches stressed over and over again is that when Oregon recruits a quarterback, they are looking for a quarterback that can run with the ball and throw on the run with great accuracy. That is something I feel very confident that I do well in both categories."
Hours before Oregon kicked off there national coverage spring game that was airing live on ESPN. Romine was invited with older recruits to tour the Len Casanova Center and watch the pre-game on the field in Autzen stadium. Romine had this to say about that experience. "Touring the Len Casanova Center was an awesome opportunity to see the state of the art training facilities which reflected the University of Oregon's attitude towards their sports programs. Although it was only a spring game, it was a special one with honoring the troops as the theme for the game. Duck fans were decked out head to toe in Oregon gear. It really shows how dedicated and enthusiastic Duck fans are about their football team when 30,000 people show up for a spring game. Walking the field in Autzen stadium and seeing all those fans crazy about there team really makes you want to suit up and play in front of them. I see why visiting teams that come and play here get stressed out. It's hard to hear anything with all the fans cheering right on top of you. The layout of the stadium is very unique. One memorable moment that I will remember was walking the field during pre-game and the fans in the stands cheering for me and trying to pronounce my last name. I felt like I belong there and felt much appreciated by the support of the fans calling my name out and screaming choose Oregon. Little did they know that I was only a freshman ha-ha."
The next day ( May 2nd 2010) Romine competed in the Nike Training Camp held at Oregon's indoor practice facility. This was the second Nike Training Camp that Romine participated in a matter of a couple of weeks. "I've been waiting for these camps for a very long time. Since after winter break I have been working out at EM Speed Training with Coach Rai Amey with my speed and explosiveness, Coach Tim Salter ( Upland High School Head Coach), and Coach Matt Bechtel ( Colony High School Head Coach) with my football skills and foot work. Couple of years ago I listened to Coach Norm Chow and Coach Steve Clarkson that football starts from ground up. Due to my every day training with all of these coaches it has prepared me to be very polished at the Nike Training Camp at USC and Oregon."
Upland assistant football coach and College Recruiting Coordinator Mike Esquivel echoed Romine's words. " Nate has been working his butt off since December for this very moment. Running the scout offense during practice for 12 weeks against the best defense we have ever had at Upland has help build his confidence. Attending the Nike Camp at USC at the end of April prepared him mentally for the Oregon Camp. The media writers on the sideline were amazed of his footwork and mobility that he displayed at the Oregon Camp for his age. Nate is a different breed. He is not a normal freshman football player. He has achieved great things so far for his young age. When talking to him it feels that you are talking to an older adult. We talked back in December about his off season camps. It got to a point where he worked out so much that Coach Salter and I had to take the ball away from him and force him to rest. He is that type of competitor. Nate is always trying to find ways to improve himself. So far all of his hard work has paid off. He will be attending the Elite 11 Regional Camp at Cal Berkeley on May 15th and wrap it up with the Under Armour Camp in San Diego on May 22nd. What amazes me is his great confidence he has when competing against older kids at these camps. It looks like he has been doing it for years."
Upland is facing a tough road ahead coming off there CIF Championship season. They play a very tough 2010 schedule that they haven't seen in years.
"After these showcase camps, my main focus is to continue to learn our extensive playbook heading into spring ball and passing league. Last year our defense was the back bone of our team. As a quarterback that's always a plus to have. With our up and coming schedule, we have to score more points this year. Every summer at Upland there is always fierce competition at every position on the team. I can't wait to compete at the quarterback position this summer. That's the one favorite thing that gets me motivated day in and day out. That's competing! "