This morning I received an email from a really good Ohio Class of 2014 prospect from southern Ohio. Actually first saw him at a college summer camp last year. I have continued to follow him. The email was similiar to many I get, especially this time of year. "Could you give us your thoughts on this camp or combine?"
First I must tell you that I have my own camps and combines. These are done with the endorsement of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Associations Regional Directors. Ohio high school football coaches are some of the instructors. MSROHIO has expanded to four combines and four(maybe five) camps to lessen the travel for campers. No individual awards, no "move-on" combines, and no " feel good times." The major emphasis is on learning and exposure. BUT THIS IS NOT WHY I DO NOT ENDORSE most of the combines/camps out there.
Marketing and money. Isn't that what is really about? The camp that was the subject of this morning's email will be held in Florida this summer. "Having the potential to be a potential 3 star, 4 star, or 5 star" recruit." That is why they send out inviations to certain prospects. Cost - 400 dollars, rooms - 100 dollars, meal money for breakfast and dinner - ??. The cost of the round trip ticket was not mentioned. Bring a strong desire to work and be considered for All-American events.
There is a national combine for underclassman that comes through Ohio each spring. Last year, I was able to attend one of these camps. Two members of the national combine staff were present. They were more concerned about putting up banners and did no evaluations. A local high school staff did almost everything. As far as evaluations, the 40's were run on a true grass surface. Problem, it had rained and was raining during the testing. Instead of using the all-weather track to test. the two national combine staff used the wet grass. Cost - 100 dollars.
During Christmas break, national all-star games are held. The Army Under Armour game is out there. National television and everything. Good chance for exposure. The combine, however, is a little over-rated. Parents spend alot of money for exposure. Supposedly, this combine also gets you a possiblity to play in the game the next year. Are you kidding me? I always wondered why an athlete would go all the way to Texas to get national exposure, when, in reality, his parents will not let him leave the Midwest.
A quarterback in the Class of 2014 who I happen to like started receiving some recognition after last year's good season. I told his coach that his QB coach had done well with his mechanics. The player was excited, because he got an invitation to attend a QB school in Florida over the Christmas break. Five days. Expensive. I could have given him the names of at least 5 QB instructors in Ohio whom I respect and saved him some money.
I remember when I was a head football coach back in the day. There was a book called Whose Who in High School Football. Some of my seniors were upset because a back-up junior QB was in the book. They asked me, "why" and I had no clue. Later, I found out his parents filled out the questionaire and mailed it to the company. The book costs - $39.95. By the way, the back up QB quit his senior year.
Nike probably does the best at getting a player's name out there. They are organized. They have a limit on participants, but they will take almost anybody. Rivals does something that I have heard nice comments about. At least for both, you do not have to travel all over the country. They come to Ohio.
With regards to the Elite Eleven QB Camps. Good exposure. The most important thing is who is evaluating you. I have heard comments from some of the people who evaluate QB's. Honestly, we were not watching the quarterbacks, or else I have lost my skills. A bad evaluation can hurt a QB.
The simple answer to what national camps/combines are good and which are bad is easy. The final decision comes from the college coach. Unless a prospect is a "no-brainer," college coaches will not offer a prospect, unless they see him perform. Plain and simple. Focus your energy and MONEY into the college summer camps. One day camps. The BCS schools bring in many college coaches to help and also to evaluate. EXPOSURE. If you are a D-2 or D-3 prospect, almost all of the MAC level schools have D-2 and D-3 coaches working their one days. EXPOSURE. Final answer- college summer camps.
Opinions are just like noses, everybody has one. When it comes to what is "best for kids," I have opinions. Maybe not always the correct one or what people want to hear, but I "have a nose."