Home Blog McCallister’s Last Stand on Camps/Combines

McCallister’s Last Stand on Camps/Combines


Getting emails from parents concerning their son’s recruiting situation is an every day thing. Now, I am not as qualified as some of the more highly profiled football recruiting experts, so I am somewhat taken back that people seek my thoughts.

Yesterday I received an email from a parent asking about the MSROHIO combines and camps and are they valuable to high school players. My initial thought was “I don’t know; I think so.” After more thought, “You know, I think that they are.”

The parent had been reading so many tweets from a person who continually “hammered” combines and camps, and how they are a waste of money and how there are no decision makers  at these combines and camps. I do not know what else has been said, because I don’t tweet and I would not read them anyway.

The tweeter believes that college football summer camps are the place to get noticed. I totally agree!! Football recruits need to be in front of “decision makers.” I also agree that many are “moneymakers.”

I have been doing this “football recruiting stuff” for awhile. But that does not necessarily mean that I know what I am doing, or if my insight means anything. Guess it means that I have fooled many college coaches over the years.

After watching Ohio State GA’s about 8 years ago put campers through combine testing and never get off their stools to help instruct, I felt sorry for the campers. Some were top recruits. Some were embarrassed, because they did not understand a certain test. At that time, I decided to run combines and camps to get high school players ready for the college football summer camps.

My combines are learning situations. We take the time to go over the tests in our combines. We work on the starts in the 40. We give more than just two chances in each test. We explain what they do wrong. The guys on the watches work with college players at times and get college players ready for the NFL combine and Pro Days. he other testers have been with me for years. They instruct.

My camps are patterned after college camps. No timing and they are not combines. Everything is football related. We teach the new agility drills. QB’s get a lot of throwing.

If players do well, trust me, their performance and effort gets to the college coaches. The results are one of the services colleges pay for.

I do not invite internet football media sites to my combines or camps any more. Players need to be focusing on learning and competing. There are plenty of other events out there to talk with the recruiting media.

MSROHIO Camps and Combines are not for everybody. Not free-but reasonable. Not a big money maker. No top camper awards. No football recruiting media available. Not many 5 stars. All we do is teach, let players compete, and let them get better. SIMPLE AS THAT.

I do not have the time and the patience to defend what I do or how I do it. But sometimes, I just get tired of all that “crap” that is said or written out there. I do not believe or support all of the private camps and combines out there. But I do support mine. My hope is that a parent will contact me, before taking the “experts’ ” comments too seriously.

Right now at this minute, I am excited about going to Xavier University tonight to watch Springfield play Moeller and Wayne play Centerville. Do you think that there will some football players in those games?



  1. Steve Ficyk

    March 18, 2015 at 10:26 am

    With the value of hindsight of a father who has gone through it, I think combines and camps are valuable, but you need to understand what they are valuable for. They are not the process, but rather a part of the process. Combines are an opportunity to get noticed, get your name out there, get some coaching, and a measurement of your basic athletic skills.Once decision makers are aware of you, the ultimate “decision” is based on football ability on film, or game in person, but you cannot get to that spot if they don’t know who you are. Combines do help with that. While pleased with where my son ended up, especially for the QB position, I would have attended John’s earlier than we did.


  2. Greg

    March 19, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Some parents and I were having a similar discussion Sunday at your combine. Discussing the + and – of all the different options out there for players. In the end we all kind of settled in the same spot. Players need to compete and in many different types of environments and in front of different eyes. Listen to what coaches and individuals running the camps/combines have to say and if you can learn one thing embrace it and get better.
    I also think it is important to attempt to align the events with the goals of your player and not go to everything. My only other point is not everything with the big logos and big names that charge a ton of money are the best value for a players journey to the school he wishes to play for.


    • Steve Ficyk

      March 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Excellent points, I agree. The only other advice I would give is figure out the profile of school your son is interested in and send schools that fit his film, along with have coach reach out. Many parents are paying big $ to have a service do this but it is easy (and free) to do with Hudl. Easy on internet to find email address and dont send a full feature film. Send a few minute highlight with a brief description of his grades, times, and interest. Some will watch, some wont, and they are not going to offer based on a highlight film. The goal is to get them on the radar. Looking back, most schools that visited my son were from film we sent out. Good luck.


  3. Tony

    March 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Now that I fully understand what this camp is about, I think its a good thing for participants to see where they stand and how to perform these drills correctly prior to attending camps that will test and keep your scores on these items. Also, it’s March and gives the players time to improve by June. I’ll see you Sunday, March 22, 2015. Thanks Mr. McCallister


  4. Shawn

    March 24, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Coach M,
    I like your honesty in your description of the camps and combines, speaks a lot about your level of integrity. It’s all about the kids and helping them get better, by allowing them to compete against each other offers them a great opportunity to see what they need to do to get better. I look forward to seeing the results for my son this weekend in Sylvania. Best wishes


  5. Tony

    March 25, 2015 at 9:44 am

    It is what Mr. McCallister said it is. Took my son Xavier Martin to Columbus last Sunday and he performed all the drills. Although he did not have his cleats (please bring your cleats) he still performed the drills and now have a better understanding of what the drills are all about and how to perform them. The staff actual trained the young men first before they performed and provided lessons after their performance. I HIGHLY recommend this for all those that are planning to attend camps. $40.00 is cheap because the experience and training is worth a whole lot more. We’re going to try and make this last training Sunday so Xavier can really show Mr. McCallister what he can do with the proper shoes. Outstanding.


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