Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
After two days of professional coaching and football warfare in the trenches, Eric Crume, a 6-2, 320-pound defensive-offensive tackle from Detroit Central High, earned “The Rock” as the top performer at the Joe Cullen Big Man Camp held Tuesday and Wednesday (June 29-30) at Renaissance High School.
Cullen, a former Detroit Lions assistant coach now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, conducted the free two-day camp sponsored by the NFL Youth Fund and fully supported by the Lions’ organization.
Approximately 100 high school players, mostly from the Detroit Public School League, benefitted from the instruction of Cullen and other members of the NFL coaching fraternity who volunteered their time along with Lions’ players Andre Fluellen and Landon Cohen.
In addition to providing equipment, the Lions’ involvement included their head trainer, equipment manager and the heads of the communications and community affairs departments. Team president Tom Lewand stopped by as well.
“We didn’t have anything like this when I was a kid and if we did, it cost a lot of money,” said Cullen, a former Lion assistant under Rod Marinelli.
“It’s great that we’re able to do a camp like this for free. We want these young men to know that they shouldn’t let anyone or anything take away from their dreams. This camp was about succeeding in football, but it’s also about succeeding in the game of life.”
Fluellen, a defensive end for the Lions, termed Crume as “NFL-ready,” after learning the Central lineman bench-pressed 225 pounds 25 times during the camp. “There’s a lot of NFL players who can’t do that,” Fluellen said.
Crume, who will be a senior in the fall, impressed the coaches throughout the drills. He said he was determined to win the coveted “Rock” after watching Cass Tech’s William Campbell win it two years ago.
“It was my work ethic,” Crume said. “I never walked into a drill, I was always out front. I had something to prove. I wanted to show everybody that I can play this game.”
There wasn’t a big man camp last year as Cullen was in transition. But the Jaguars’ assistant plans to conduct the camp again next year and hopefully make it an annual affair. “We want to make it even bigger and better,” Cullen said.