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Plan Your Camp Schedule – For Real

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The whole concept of college football summer camps has changed over the last few years and this summer is no different. Camp selection should be really a well thought out plan. Too much too lose. Camps are no longer instructional camps. Now – exposure camps.

College coaches are not doing their job, if they do not sell their camps. Before the serious “offer” goes to you, the coaching staff must see you at camp. Important, as well at camps, is that you see them. See what they are like when they are instructing. Different story could be possible, not that they are not selling.

As college football coaches visited high schools to make eye contact with the college prospects, you should have been busy doing some evaluating of the college coach. Did you watch and listen how he presented himself and how he communicated. If his sales pitch sounded somewhat legitimate, you should get more information on the camp.

Just how hard and how seriously do they want you to attend their camp. Are they really recruiting you? Of course, they want to evaluate you, but are you one that they really want. Or are they just making sure the opposite view – that they can eliminate you.

The best bang for your buck is probably still the Ohio State one day camps. Again this year there are 3 camps. I say this, because OSU allows MAC school coaches to attend. Even some of the MAC “decision makers” are at these camps. Division II and III coaches are working the camp. Common sense would suggest that going to one of these 1 days would get you exposure to many different programs.

If you are looking for an Ohio State offer, because your “dream” has been to play for the Buckeyes, since you were able to talk, be careful. If OSU gets the word out to you to come to their camp, make the trip. If you have not really heard anything, still work hard, make the trip, and try to impress. If OSU invites you to Friday Night Lights, get after it. Nothing to lose.

Speaking of FNL, for most, – enjoy the experience. Have fun. Compete. A chance for mom and dad to visit the Shoe. OSU waits until late in July, so they can get a more accurate list. Also, out of state recruits have more free time to make the trip.

If you are an underclassman, make the trip to FNL to get the experience and learn. Get ready for the next year. Chances are – if you are an Ohio kid, with no O-State offer, go to have fun and learn. Get some exposure.

One more comment on the one days at Ohio State. Usually the OSU staff  selects campers to go inside and work out. More individual attention for Ohio kids, as well as other prospects,  who are from out of state. This is a good experience, but parents, high school coach, and camper, do not make too, too, too much of this. Same – if you are not invited inside. Just work hard. Sometimes they need bodies to compete and a camper goes inside. Of course, being invited inside is a start.

Make the most of being able to work out in front and also visit with the Mid American Conference coaches. If there are a few MAC coaches who really seemed interested in you, check out their camp schedule. Go to their one day camp. I would think that most MAC schools have scheduled a camp after the OSU one days that you could attend.

Actually for most of the 2020 Class who have yet to verbally commit to a school, the MAC programs are huge. If you are an underclassman, and unless some college coach is showing you a lot of “love,” it may not matter now, but possibly in the future.

With Cincinnati being a BCS program in Ohio, camping there would be good. With Luke Fickell and his staff, getting exposure in front of the coaching staff would be good. Plus Coach Fickell and I think a lot alike in evaluating talent. Wow! I do not know if that is good or bad.

College football summer camps are good. The only real negative is ” how far should you travel” to go to a camp? Any bordering state is good. I would guess any four hour drive is workable. Driving to Syracuse is a stretch. Of course flying is the easiest and probably the most expensive, but if a college coach has made what seems to be a real offer, you might need to make the trip.

To me, the key is the relationship that you have established with the coaching staff. Are they really sincere about their interest? Biggest of all, have they made a solid “offer” to you? Is there another “Ohio kid” playing there? Do your research !! With my good friend, Matt Campbell at Iowa State, I would be silly to say a distance camp is a definite “no-no.” Just be cautious to just how much  a college staff is really interested, if the school is more than 4 hours from home.

The old days of the Michigan Technique school is over. Four days at one camp. Four days?  If you go to anything but a one day, I have some left handed footballs for sale. Ohio State is going back to one camp session that will be 1 and 1/2 days. We will see.

College football summer camps are no longer a “learning new skills and techniques time.” No longer about playing 7on7’s and ragtime football. Regardless of age, camps are all about exposure. All about getting in front of college coaches. In fact, high school coaches can no longer work camps. Some level of college coaches – D1, D2, or D3 – are the only ones.

Enjoy your camp experience. Have fun. Laugh. Meet new friends. Renew old friendships. Make mom and dad smile. Look around at the facilities. Put on social media, your thoughts. Meet college coaches.

Never forget college football is a business. A big business. A competitive business. Work your butt off. Be at the front of the line. Finish the drill. Compete hard. Show emotion when you get defeated in a drill. Act like you would expect to win, when you do well.

Look around. There are many campers trying to accomplish what you are trying to do. This is your second job interview. The best to you.

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