Former collegiate star and NFL lineman gives clinic for Wheatland High School football players

Former BYU standout lineman Dustin Rykert came to Wheatland via contacts he had with Eli and Jen Stone who had a nephew that played alongside of Rychert in college. Rychert was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth-round of the 2003 NFL draft. Seen here addressing linemen from the Bulldogs as head football coach Cody Bohlander looks on.

WHEATLAND – Last week at Dearinger Park in Wheatland a three-day football clinic was given specifically for football players who play in the trenches.

Former BYU offensive tackle and native of Oakmont High School in Roseville, California played for the Cougars from 1998-2002. In 2002 he was named by the league's media, Sporting News and Phil Steele to the preseason All-MWC first-team ... also ranked as the 14th top offensive tackle in the nation by Phil Steele and ranked 13th by Sporting News.

He was eventually drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders and later had a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was also once a bodyguard for Dennis Rodman. In addition, Rykert said that he played arena ball for five years.

“I was drafted into a Raider team that had actually lost the Super Bowl the year before against Tampa Bay,” Rykert said. “How I got here was Jen and Eli (Stone) reached out to me on social media. I’ve been doing camps and individual coaching in Utah with kids there. She asked if I’d come out and spend some time with the Wheatland boys. Usually I do just an hour session with maybe four or five kids, so this one was a bit different going hard for three days in an intense specialty clinic.”

In the many years that Rykert played and the years now that he has been away from the professional game, he says that things have changed and evolved.

“The game has changed as have the athletes,” he said. “The size and the strength of the athletes are different. Now it’s bigger, stronger, faster. Also the athleticism of these large massive players who are able to be flexible and athletic. It all starts up front if you really want to be able to showcase and protect your talent and your team.”

The clinic was held for one evening session and two early morning sessions and head football coach Cody Bohlander was excited to have that caliber of athlete speaking to his team of 16 linemen that participated in the sessions.  

“I think it’s a great thing,” Bohlander said. “You don’t normally get offensive and defensive line coaches to come in and be able to do a camp like we got for these kids. It’s pretty valuable for us to see the things that we need to do that at the next level they’ve got to be able to learn.”

Eli and Jen Stone who had contacts with Rykert made the clinic an exciting reality for the local kids.

“My nephew played at BYU with him,” Jen Stone said. “And then we took Bode, our son to the BYU camp this summer and really got a good idea of that particular culture and we thought we had to bring it here. It gave our kids a different perspective is pretty cool.”

One of the kids who participated in the clinic was Beck Graves who attested to the work that went into three days of extra football this summer.

“It was a lot of hard work and way more intense than just a regular practice,” Graves said. “It was so intense and I learned a lot of new things and stuff I have to personally work on, like flexibility.”

The next camp for football at WHS is the kids camp August 10-11. The camp will run both nights from 5-7:30 p.m. at Dearinger Park in Wheatland.

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