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Mariota, Hundley and Petty featured as Gruden’s QB Camp returns tonight

Feature producer Jonathan Punko with Marcus Mariota. (Kala Bolton/ESPN)
Feature producer Jonathan Punko with Marcus Mariota. (Kala Bolton/ESPN)

Season six of Gruden’s QB Camp debuts tonight (beginning 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) with three consecutive episodes as 2015 NFL Draft prospects Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Brett Hundley (UCLA) and Bryce Petty (Baylor) go one-on-one with Super Bowl-winning head coach and Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden.

ESPN feature producer Jonathan Punko worked on the Mariota and Hundley QB Camp shows. While he had previous experience with these quarterbacks on the Under Center with Kirk Herbstreit series, Punko learned even more about these athletes during the QB Camp sessions.

[Marcus] was the same person that I had worked with last summer — before he won the Heisman, before he went to the National Championship game. The success did not change him.
– ESPN feature producer Jonathan Punko on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

On Mariota: “You see these athletes on TV, but once you see them up close, you get a better appreciation of how good he is and how much preparation goes into being a quarterback. That’s the one thing I took away from the film – his knowledge of the game.

“Also, [Marcus] was the same person that I had worked with last summer – before he won the Heisman, before he went to the National Championship game. The success did not change him.”

As for Hundley, Punko adds: “He’s very personable… When I saw Brett [at Gruden QB Camp], he actually remembered me from last summer. He’s gone through a full season of college football, meeting hundreds, probably thousands of people; you haven’t seen him in six months and he remembers you.”

In preparation for QB Camp, Punko conducted extensive research on Mariota and Hundley before they arrived at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for their individual tapings last month. Punko also screened video and prepared interview questions that would complement Gruden’s film session syllabus.

Following each full day of taping, which included pre- and post-show interviews in addition to Gruden’s film session and on-field workout, Punko worked with fellow QB Camp producers and a three-person editing team [Joe Canali, Dave Lynch, Jeff Young] to condense five hours of footage on each player into a 30-minute show.

“It’s trickier than just finding the good parts of the show,” Punko explains. “You have to make it flow and be seamless for the viewer so they are not getting lost when you move to another topic. Having Coach Gruden break it down in the film room – then executing it on the field – is important to the viewer because it then has a beginning and end.”

April 7 Gruden QB Camp debut

TimeShowNetwork
7 p.m.SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp :
Marcus Mariota
ESPN2
7:30 p.m.SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp :
Brett Hundley
ESPN2
8 p.m.SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp :
Bryce Petty
ESPN2
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