Attending high school football games has always been the major source of how I evaluate college potential high school football players. Obviously, I also watch players play other sports, participate in 7on7's, and perform at different camps out there. Yesterday, I really enjoyed watching nearly 500 student athletes participate in the Lauren's First and Goal football camp held at Otterbein University.
Otterbein assistant football coach, Joe Neimth invited to come to the camp and at first, I was not sure about going. Private football camps, for the most part, are a scam to take your money and, for me, a joke. After players attend the Shuman National Underclassmen Combine, most parents agree with me. But the Lauren's First and Goal was different and I was glad that I attended the one day camp.
The Camp is a labor of love, started in 2004 by John Loose in honor of his daughter, Lauren, a 15 year old pediatric brain tumor survivor. Since its beginning, LFG has raised more than one millon dollars toward its misson to provde financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services. LFG also offers financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer. Lastly, money helps increase the awareness of the disease.
Yesterday players from 120 different schools, from 12 states, raised more than $16,000 dollars for pediatric brain tumor research. I was told there were around 135 college coaches working the camp. On their way to do a satellite camp in Cincinnati this morning, the Kent State staff stopped to work the camp. What a good way to check for any high school player "slipping thru the cracks."
As I talked with founder, John Loose, he voiced some concern about attendance. There were around 500 campers with all skill levels represented. Alot of kids are almost camped out. Good college football camps are everywhere in Ohio. The Mid-American programs are doing the "satellite thing," which is huge. O-State just finished their 3-day position camp, and have their underclassmen 2-day, and their last senior day this Saturday. Michigan started their camp yesterday.
Anytime a player, regardless of age, has a chance to get better, a chance to compete, and a chance to get evaluated by college coaches, he should go for it. Plus, if a player has a chance to get evaluated and talked to by John McCallister, that is "icing on the cake." For you that know me, I am "messin with you." For you that do not know me, I do not take myself too seriously.
One note-- I meet and speak with alot of young men at camps. If had not attended the LFG camp, I would not have met Logan Rhea, a 5'10 DB from Mount Vernon High School. Logan is in the Class of 2014 and carries a 3.7GPA. Had him on my 2014 list, but meeting both Logan and his mother was nice. Last night, Logan went to msrohio.com and completed a questionaire for me.
For my two cents, the Lauren's First and Goal camp is well worth a Sunday of fun. Not only is the camp experience worthwhile, but anytime money can be raised for such a worthwhile cause, one day of more football is good.