KALISPELL — Retired quarterback Brock Osweiler graduated from Flathead High School in 2009 and went on to play in the NFL, and had a key role in the Denver Broncos' run to winning Super Bowl 50.
Now Osweiler is giving back to the community where he got his start by hosting free football camp this weekend at Legends Stadium.
"Growing up here in the valley, going to the Flathead Braves football camp every summer was really one of the highlights of my summer," said Osweiler with a reminiscent smile. "I still remember coach (Bob) Applegate and all the speeches he would give, and how he would kind of get on us and all the things we learned.
"You know, I still remember that to this day. So when coach (Caleb) Aland reached out to me it was an absolute, 'Yes, I would love to be there I would love to help out in any way I can.'"
After reaching out to Osweiler about six months ago, Aland had just one hopeful request.
"I'd love you to come back and do some camps and be around our guys and really help me teach these guys what it means to be a Flathead Brave," said Aland, the Braves' head coach. "And he was all on board, man. He called me like a week later after we talked about the 7-on-7 (portion), and he's like, 'We need to do more.'"
And more is exactly what was delivered after Osweiler covered all the expenses to make the camp free to anyone interested and share his experiences as a former pro.
"Just to talk to them about the importance of workouts and working out as a team and being around each other," said Aland. "Kind of the same things we preach to our guys every day, but to hear it from Brock Osweiler is completely different than hearing it from me. So (it's a) really, really cool experience for those guys."
One of those guys happened to approach Osweiler following their 6 a.m. conditioning and lift on Thursday morning.
"He was talking about this talented kid, that talented kid and I said, 'Listen, if you have a dream or a goal, to play at the next level, to win a state championship, whatever that may be, as long as you're willing to work hard enough for it, you can accomplish anything,'" said Osweiler.
"I don't care how much talent somebody else has or what they're doing. If you're willing to work harder than the rest then you can accomplish anything you want."
The player on the receiving end of Osweiler’s advice was incoming Flathead freshman Joshua Mertins.
"I was very nervous, very, very nervous talking to one of the best quarterbacks from here ever," said an ecstatic Mertins. "Like he made to the NFL. Are you kidding me? I get to talk to somebody who went to the NFL. Just being 14, and having such a great role model and wanting to go to the big leagues, it was very inspiring for me."
It wsa inspiration that Mertins took to heart, and when asked what he was going to do to take his game to the next level he kept it short and sweet.
"Work harder than everyone else here," said Mertins with some swagger.
Despite having graduated from high school over a decade ago Osweiler continues to give back to the place where it all began.
"You know, the Flathead Valley means everything to me, the Flathead Valley is where I grew up," said a reflective Osweiler. "It's what helped mold me into the person that I am today and I take a lot of pride and being a person from Montana. So to be able to come back here, a place that's given me so much, taught me so much, has brought me so much joy, I want to give back."