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Selecting College Football Camps


Sadly, the whole concept of college football summer camps has changed over the last few years. Really has changed in the last month. Camp selection should be really a well thought out plan. Too much too lose.

Of course, college coaches are going to make their camp pitch. I do not blame them. College colleges 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.

As college football coaches are visiting high schools to make eye contact with the college prospects, you should be busy doing some evaluating of the college coach. Watch and listen how he presents himself and how he communicates.

May is really a busy month for college football recruits and setting up your camp schedule. Ashland has a camp in May, but all of the other college camps are in June or July.

First, as I have said before, it is the early job interview time. You can not miss school, when the college coaches are coming to your school. They need to make that brief (?) contact. The coach needs to be able to see the you. Just as important, you need to see and analyze the college coach. Trust me, the “bump rule,” is often a long, long bump.

Secondly, you need to keep some type of record of what colleges have stopped by his high school. Parents will help with this. Here, the parent, as well as the high school coach needs to keep things in perspective. Good to get a “stop by,” from a Power Five conference school, but putting everything on Facebook or Twitter, may be a stretch for some. Remember the “eye-ball” test.

The limited contact that you have with a college coach is really important to both your parents and you when trying to put a football summer camp together. Really huge. Of course, the information that your coach gets from the recruiter is really valuable.

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 – that they can eliminate you.

The best part of “satellite camps” throughout Ohio was that college coaches could “eliminate” recruits quickly. Although they had to travel, when 250-300 campers showed up at a satellite camp, college coaches could get the recruitable list down to 50 in a short time.

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 “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 3 days would get you exposure.

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 somehow OSU gets the word out to you come to their camp, make the trip. If you have not really heard anything, work hard and try to impress. If OSU invites you to Friday Night Lights, get after it.

Speaking of FNL, for most – enjoy the experience. Have fun. Compete. A chance for mom and dad to visit the Shoe. OSU waits til late in July, so they can their list accurate. Also, out of state recruits have more free time to make the trip. If you are underclassman, get the experience and learn. Get ready for the next year.

One more comment on the 3 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 prospects camping 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. 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 2018 Class who has yet to verbally commit to a school, the MAC programs are huge. If you are an underclassman, I don’t it matters, unless some college coach is showing you a lot of “love.”

With Cincinnati being a BCS program in Ohio, camping there would be good. With Luke Fickell and new staff, getting exposure in front of the coaching staff would be good.

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.

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 “no-no.”

The old days of the Michigan Technique school is over. Four days at one camp. Four days? Definitely 2018 Class and probably 2019 Class, if you go to anything but a one day, I have some left handed footballs for sale.

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 first job interview. The best to you.








  1. Vic Peroni

    May 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks John. Greatly appreciate your advice and insight.


    • John McCallister

      June 2, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Thanks. Many years of experience, but still trying to keep up to date. Plus, I will always give my honest thoughts.


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