The last two days I have been visiting the Kent State University football camps. The former head coach at Kent State shied away from high school football camps, but the new staff lead my Darrell Hazel is bringing them back. For me, as an evaluator of talent, I am really glad they are doing this. The university, and more importantly the Ohio High School football coaches, should be just as glad.
On Tuesday, Kent State hosted prospects in the Class of 2014. Really good numbers. Personally, there were some that I will follow this fall. Do not want to mention players now. A big lineman from near Kent and an athlete from near Upper Sandusky jumped out at me. Too early to write much about them, but they have a chance to be really good.
Today, the Class of 2013 was well represented. At least twenty campers will need to be watched this fall. Two from Michigan and a quarterback from Pennsylvania performed well. Because I only evaluate Ohio kids, most of time was focused on the prospects in Ohio' Class of 2013.
Campers were put through combine testing in the morning. After the tests, campers went through different types of football agilities. Kent State coaches not only directed the drills, but also closely evaluated the prospects. The afternoon session was divided into offense and defense. Prospects all worked on each side of the ball.
The strength of these camps that the groups were smaller, and there was much more individual attention given to the campers. Each Kent State assistant coach was the "guy" as far as leading the drills and the afternoon individual position sessions. Prospects could ask questions anytime. Coaches not only broke down every position step by step, but also were very clear in what they were instructing.
From the very beginning, you could sense that this was not a physical education class type camp. Players were skilled and competed hard. No nonsense. Billy Price, 6'4-285 offensive lineman from Austintown Fitch lead the way. Already has offers from Ohio State, and I heard UCLA. Price thought the camp was important, and, of course, he loves to compete.
Every college program cries,"Get them on campus." Kent State, after years of no camps, is making the effort. Thursday the Class of 2012 arrives. From early reports, the group has both "how manys" and "who manys."
Coach Hazel and his staff are "getting after it." Coaches are copycats. Although just a few schools are doing the underclassman camps, next year will see more. Hopefully, Kent State is starting a trend.