Sunday, June 3, 2012

College Football Summer Camps

College football summer camps have been a part of what I do forever. Back in the earlly days at Michigan and Ohio State camps were big. Always had to be careful and stay out of the way of coaches trying to instruct, but no problem. There were no football recruiting writers walking around watching campers perform. College coaches always pointed out the ones to watch and the flip side, they asked me whom I had seen.

Camps were important in evaluations. I remember seeing Boom Herron at the Michigan Camp. I liked his ability to get north/south. Had some burst and solid speed. Moreover, I liked his attitude. I have told this story before about Kirk Barton at the Ohio State Camp. No matter what you heard, Kirk had not convinced recruiters and high school coaches that he was a top guy in Ohio. He played tight end at Massillon Perry, but, hopefully, most people thought that he would be on the OL at the next level. Actually, I really knew he could be a top guy when he did the vertical jump. His concentration and focus was unreal. He turned out to be a pretty good player at Ohio State University.

My point is this. Many players are camping all over the place. And sad, but true, it is almost a necessity with recruiting becoming what it is. If you go to a camp, your motor has to run all of the time. Whether it is when you register, waiting in line for attendance, or actually doing the drills. When you register stand tall and show no bad attitude. In line for attendance, act like you want to be there. Do not act tired and show no attitude. Leave mom and dad on the sidelines. When doing the drills, be first in line. Most importantly finish the drills with enthusiasm.

Good evaluators and college colleges should be watching and evaluating players all of the time. If a college coach is more worried about bull crapping with some of his old friends, he is not doing his job. If he is getting in your face, look through him, because chances are he is not making you better. If recruiting writers are trying to interview you during actual camp time, avoid them. Wait until breaks in the camp schedule. They have stories to write and a certain number of required contents, but they can wait on you.

College football camps are to help you get better, but as most people know, camps are more for evaluations and exposure. Some colleges have offered players, but on condition that they perform well at camp. Really that is silly and wrong, but it is what it is. On evaluations, there are more people evaluating you than you think. Big schools may have guys walking around who look like casual observers, but, trust me, sometime during the camp they will be meeting with the college coaches. Someone is always evaluating you.

Although I have some reservations about this, campers are never too young to get into a camp. I watched a player recently who is in the Class of 2017. The truth. The nice thing was that he fit in with everybody else. Of course, this is an exception. Regardless of your age, check with your high school coach to see if camping is right for you. The more experience that you can get when you are young, will help you going into your senior year.

College football summer camps are important to get exposure and to get evaluated. I will say this, be selective as to what camps you attend. Parents are guilty at times of just wanting to attend big school camps, just to say that they have been there.  Players send me lists of their camp schedules. Some are ridiculous, because are planning to attend too many camps. By the time they are through 1/2 of them, they are fatigued.

Please do not forget-- Running around in shorts and shirts is good, but what a player does with pads on makes all of the difference. Too many college coaches, including Big Ten coaches, get caught up in measurments and test results. College coaches believe that they can make every prospect a major player and you know, as well as I, that is not always the case. If a coach does not show you some "love" during a camp, do not let it get you down. Play hard on Fridays and Saturdays and that should make all of the difference.

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