Steve Clarkson
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Steve Clarkson
Steve Clarkson
Born: (1961-10-31) October 31, 1961 (age 58)
Los Angeles, California
Career information
CFL statusAmerican
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg)
CollegeSan Jose State
High schoolWilson (Los Angeles, California)
Career history
As player
1983-1984Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL)
Career stats
Passes attempted-pass completed1-4
Passing yards0
Passer rating92.9

Steven Levert "Steve" Clarkson (born October 31, 1961)[1] is an American football coach. Based in Pasadena, California,[2] he is considered[according to whom?] a top quarterback coach.[3][4] Clarkson has tutored Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Hundley, Matt Leinart, J. P. Losman, Gino Torretta, Matt Barkley, Tim Tebow, Josh Freeman, and Jimmy Clausen, among others.[5][6] Clarkson is also known for helping to get offers for David Sills from University of Southern California and Tate Martell from the University of Washington at ages of 13. David Sills currently plays for the Buffalo Bills after signing as a UDFA.

High school career

Clarkson is a 1979 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, where he led its team to three Los Angeles City Championships with a 39-1 record during three seasons. Clarkson was named to the All-City teams during his junior and senior seasons, and was the All-City Player of the Year in 1978 after leading the state in passing yards and total offense.

College career

Clarkson later was a three-year starter for coach Jack Elway at San José State University, where he holds several passing records and was named to the Academic All-American teams in 1981 and 1982.[7]

After going undrafted in the 1983 NFL Draft, Clarkson played a season for the Denver Broncos and two seasons for the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1983 and 1984.[8] He then became a district manager for a steakhouse chain, before turning to football coaching.[9]



Clarkson initially founded "Air 7", a quarterback academy, that offers tutoring to players in high school and younger.[10][11] Clarkson has since coached more than 200 Division I-A quarterback starters.[12] Including other positions, Air 7 has produced about 80 I-A starters.[3]

Clarkson's quarterback academy is now called Steve Clarkson Dreammaker. Initially offering quarterback training to youth, high school and college players, Clarkson soon began to train professional players as well. Clarkson has since been described by ESPN as "the most powerful QB coach in football."[9]

Clarkson organizes various football camps and programs, such as the Super 7 program held in different cities.[12][13] His training has been noted for involving significant classroom sessions in addition to on-field training.[14]


Clarkson was featured in a CBS "60 Minutes" segment by Morley Safer. The segment aired on a December 22, 2013[15] episode. During the segment, Safer featured the potential moral implications of creating a business such as Clarkson's "Dreammaker" quarterback camps. Those implications included the question of whether children as young as seven should be intensively training to become college quarterbacks and whether the parents of young children should be investing large sums of money in Clarkson's tutelage. In the segment, Clarkson admitted he did not want his own 10-year-old son to play football. While many of Clarkson's successful former students were featured, none of Clarkson's unsuccessful students were interviewed or even mentioned.

Mike Forcier, the father of a former student Tate Forcier, alleged that Clarkson "was more into promoting than coaching... It's like a big cattle call. That's what it is. It's all about promoting his guys and himself."[16]

Clarkson at one point had fifty kids in private group training that cost $7,400 a year, although add-ons often took the tabs into five figures. He also works with more than 200 other players through camps and semi-private clinics. Clarkson will do a full 12-hour session over two days for an out-of-state QB that costs $3,000 plus expenses.[17]

Clarkson is also self-styled as a recruiting middle man. Forbes Magazine quoted Clarkson as saying "Kids are on the cusp of getting scholarships before high school and it is all because of the Sills story, I guess I'm the person who started this whole madness."[17]

Notable trainees

Clarkson has developed quarterbacks including Heisman Trophy-winner Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley.[18] Other clients include Jimmy Clausen, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Cassel.[19][20] A protégé of Clarkson's, David Sills, verbally committed to USC at the age of 13.[21][22][23] Another student, Tate Martell, verbally committed to the University of Washington at age 14.[24] Clarkson also currently works with the following talent at the collegiate level, Max Wittek at the University of Hawaii, and Wilton Speight, University of Michigan.


  1. ^
  2. ^ McGrath, Ben (15 October 2012). "Head Start". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b Moore, David Leon (2002-07-26). "Parents pay dearly to coach kids for stardom" (PDF). USA Today. Retrieved . Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  4. ^ Clarkson, Steve (15 October 2012). "Steve Clarkson grooms future quarterbacks for the pros". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Arash Markazi, Fully committed,, February 5, 2008.
  6. ^ Christopher Lawlor, Grounded in faith, Barkley leads the way for Mater Dei,, April 1, 2008.
  7. ^ "Steve's Story". Steve Clarkson Dreammaker. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Mahoney, Jon (9 September 2008). "The Education of a QB". ESPN Rise/Football. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ a b Grant, Alan. "The Guy Behind the Guy Behind Center". ESPN Insider. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Thamel, Pete (2 October 2004). "Quarterbacks' Seal of Approval: Made in the USA". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Condotta, Bob (25 July 2012). "More on Tate Martell". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ a b Jenkins, Lee (2 June 2008). "The School Where Everyone Passes". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (24 May 2012). "QB Guru Steve Clarkson Can Make Your Kid A Football Star". Forbes. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ Luginbill, Tom (5 July 2010). "Young guns steal the show". ESPN. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ Safer, Morley (22 December 2013). "Quarterback Guru: Steve Clarkson". CBS News.
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b Badenhausen, Kurt (24 May 2012). "QB Guru Steve Clarkson Can Make Your Kid A Football Star". Forbes.
  18. ^ Klein, Gary (15 March 2012). "The quarterback guru's magic touch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ Pompey, Keith (17 October 2009). "QB guru is molding the finest of athletes". Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ Miller, Ted (16 October 2009). "Competition within the game: Clausen vs. Barkley". ESPN College Football. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ Smith, Cameron (28 March 2011). "14-year-old recruit David Sills visits USC with more media fanfare". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ Staples, Andy (5 February 2010). "USC stands to gain much more than one QB from offering 13-year-old". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ Miller, Ted (26 July 2012). "Middle school commitments meaningless". Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ McKinney, Eric (26 July 2012). "QB Tate Martell, 14, commits to UW". ESPN College Football. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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