Earlier in the week, I received a call from a parent who is trying to arrange college camp days for his son who is a DB in the Class of 2015. His son is a solid prospect, but needs to get in front of decision makers. College coaches need to see him.
The prospect plays in a smaller school football program and needs to be seen by college coaches. BCS schools are involved with this prospect. College coaches have assured me that they like him, but need to see more. I believe them and I also believe that he needs to workout for them.
The problem - Dad is trying work a schedule so that his son can attend the NIKE football camp in C-bus in early June. By going to the college camps, he probably will miss the NIKE Camp. When he asked me my thoughts, the answer is simple. Nobody at the NIKE Camp can offer him a scholarship. What is worse - many of those people at the NIKE Camp are no better evaluators than I. Trust me, I am nothing to write home about.
NIKE Camp is a nice marketing tool. Get kids' names out there. Honestly, is probably the best at what it does. But NOBODY can offer a prospect a scholarship. Obviously, if a player goes to a college camp, he could earn an offer.
Sometimes a player can hurt himself at a non college camp if he does not do well. Maybe his times are not as good. Maybe a recruiting reporter writes a bad report. Very few recruiting reporters are good talent evaluators. Maybe the evaluators do not like him for some reason.
NIKE, as well as some other marketing camps, say that if a player performs well, he has a chance to go to the big show in Oregon. Of course, I can not proof it, but NIKE people already have an idea who they want going to the big show.
I guess I understand what goes through a parent's head, but when their son his asked to workout in front of decision makers, he needs to do that. I mean NIKE Camps are good, but a player trying to get an offer, should NEVER substitute his only chance to get in front of a BCS coach to go to a NIKE Camp.
I would hope that even the powers to be at NIKE would agree .
My other concern is about players spending time and money traveling to camps outside of the Midwest. Actually I just lost a top member of the Ohio Class of 2016 who was coming to the Showcase. He is going to a camp at Virginia Tech. A junior to be going to Va Tech? Now if it was a school in the Midwest, I could better understand. Only a sophomore.
If this prospect was a member of the 2015 Class, I understand. As a junior he needs looks.
Finally many of the BCS schools in the Midwest have Mid major and Mid American coaches working their camps. More exposure.
Of course, I think that I can do more for an underclassman prospect and get him more exposure than a school outside of the Midwest. But it is what it is. And, I love the Midwest and, but for a few exceptions, most Ohio players eventually play in the Midwest. Because of my respect for the OL coach at Rutgers and the DL coach at Syracuse, these would be two exceptions.