Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Football Camps

        I get emails and phone calls about the best camps to attend this summer. Do not know if there is a best answer. Of course, I would never put my choices on paper, but I will tell a parent or player, if they ask. Really all are camps are about the same. Big is not always better.
        Still get some questions as to whether I have any more combines scheduled this spring. I do not. For me the window is so small between wrestling, basketball, track and baseball that I try to do the MSROHIO combines in March. Really, any combines now, are really a waste of time. Too late. Focus on college summer camps.
        Had a parent call me just last week, because she did not have the correct password for some application for one of the national recruiting sites combine coming up soon. My answer "no big deal." What do these sites have to offer? Take your picture, put you on a list, and get contact information. I guess it is nice exposure, but I would not fret about not being able to participate. Her son was at our combine in March. He is going to be fine.
        Someone told her that "offers" are really important now. "If you do not have offers now, the chance of getting a scholarship is really lessens." SILLY! Most of the people who follow my thoughts, know that offers really overrated now. If you bust your butt at a camp and get an offer from your camp performance, then we are talking serious stuff. If the coaches tell you "to keep working hard and play well the first two games," then you are probably not on their 01A list.
        College coaches in the Midwest have to recruit from summer camps, because Ohio has no spring contact football like Florida and some other states do. It is what it is. That is why when a prospect goes to a camp, he needs to be first in line, finish every drill, compete hard, and show good character. Those are the type of things good evaluators will or should be looking forward to.

Choosing Camps
1A. If a player is going into his senior year, going to any camp for more than one day is not profitable. In one day, a college coach can see what he needs to see. One day is a lot less expensive. Time is of importance. Go to as many as he feels that that he needs to get exposure. Going one day will allow him to space his camps giving him some down time. Finally, he will get more attention, because of the time limit.

1. If a college out of state has offered you a scholarship and you really like the school, then you have to camp, at least one day. If a school like Iowa offers and you like them, go. Same with a Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Illinois, Purdue or Northwestern or a Buffalo or Syracuse. It is a trip, but you need to make the trip to do your own evaluation of their coaching staff's attitude. Have Mom and Dad check everything, too. See just what the coach is like when he is coaching. Same way with the head coach. See how well he communicates, when he is not sitting in your living room.

2. Locally, Ohio State has five different opportunities to camp for position players. Three one days. One called a Skill and Big Man Camp- This is primarily for underclassmen. Campers stay 1 and 1/2 days. Last year, they had to rename it.

3. Michigan's Camp lasts for four days. A player gets a ton of work. Of course, it is a well run camp.
If a player cannot stay that long, he can still go for one day.  Michigan State's Camp is more one day, but they get a lot of work done.

4. "Satellite Camps-" Toledo (8 sites) and Ohio University (3 sites) will travel to your area to put on four hour camps. Mostly for seniors to be, the camp is open to grades 9-12. A chance to learn, showcase, work on football skills, and compete. Sound familiar? Having been to these camps, I am really impressed with all of the work accomplished. A lot of individual attention. I am not familiar with the other schools in the MAC, because they have not responded to my requests. Guess I cannot help them. Oh well.

5. Division 2 Camps. Most people know that I have a high regard for D-2 football. Findlay, Ohio Dominican, and Ashland all host football camps on their campus. I have been to some and they do a really good job. All three schools allow D-3 schools to work the camps. Tons of exposure.

6. On exposure. I mentioned D-2 schools have D-3 schools working their camps. The BCA schools in the Midwest allow Mid level D-1 coaches to work their camps. Great for exposure. Years ago, Coach Tressel raised the bar for allowing unlinited MAC coaches access to work the camps. Not quite the same now, but still good. Excellent exposure.

7. On private camps - probably the best is the Nike Camp. Good to compete, but just so many bodies. Some coaches are just that - "warm bodies." A good camp to learn and compete. Of course, you get nice shirt. Football University - simply look at the price.

            Just some thoughts on college football camps. Most are what you make them. There are good ones and bad ones. At one satellite camp last year, the staff spent almost two hours going over combine drills. The camp was at the end of June. Remember if you go to camp  that wears shoulder pads, you can not wear them, even if it is a team camp.

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