As I was driving home from the Under Armour All American Camp held yesterday at the Spire Institute, I was trying to understand the real importance of this event. Why in the middle of February would prospects travel 6 hours to workout for 4 hours.
But first, and most important, I really appreciated the opportunity to attend the Camp. I was considered media and was allowed access to every thing, except to being out on the field. I stayed on the track, but as typical, some parents drifted onto the field. One poor parent was told that he could not video, because he was not media. Eventually, he hid on the ground behind a blocking dummy. I took a picture. For real.
Guessin the Number One reason – people with Under Armour could get a first hand look at some of the top players in Ohio and surrounding states. They did pick 2 out 168 players to participate in the All-Star game in Florida next January. But, I would hope that they now have some additional info on the players.
For the people evaluating players, it seems a little concerning. A lot of players to evaluate. Just who is evaluating. Just how valuable and credible is this information to college coaches. As far as the measurables, that has to be pretty much cut and dry. It is the subjective comments that I would be concerned about at times.
The recruiting reporters from 24/7 and Rivals were there. I guess Land of 10 is now in the football recruiting reporting, as well. Maybe the number two reason – get exposure. The reporters do this, for sure. They interview players and report on what they see. But what do they see???
I read an article written by Land of Ten reporter Ryan Donnelly this morning. The article was about Akron Hoban’s Noland Rumler, an offensive lineman who has committed to Michigan. 1/4 of the article was about him and 3/4 of the article was about Ohio State trying to get him to flip. But I guess that what football recruiting fans want to know.
My concern would be when recruiting reporters get into evaluating and writing their thoughts on paper for recruiting fans to read. Or better yet, when they report to the college coaches what they see. That to me could be of some concern. One of the best is Dave Berk, and he does not work for one of the recruiting sites anymore.
Number Three – Compete. A camp like the Under Armour Camp gives players a chance to compete against other talented players. The word “compete” scares me a little, because 1on1’s is about the only real competition there is. An to put much stock in 1on1’s for an hour on February 18 is a little concerning.
Maybe a better word choice is to “see what’s out here.” See who the other good players are. See what kind of skills that they have. See just how big that they really are. See what makes them get noticed.
Develop some relationships among other members of the Class of 2019, or of the Class of 2020. Number Four. Making friends is much more important that trying to “hammer” another player. Compete, of course. But get to know some of the other players at your position. If they are as good and you are as good as advertised, you will see them again on the recruiting trail at camps and college visits, both official and unofficial. Leave the competition on the field.
Number Five. They held this Camp for John McCallister! HUMOR. For me, I get a really good look at some of the best football players. Just some, because not all of the good prospects in Ohio are in attendance. But I get to see them and watch them workout and compete. Way too early to be critical of ability. Again and again, yesterday was February 18. Not June 18.
College coaches always ask me – “Have you seen him?” Whether it be in practice, in a game, on the basketball floor, on a wrestling mat, on the track, in the hallway, or just in street clothes someplace. “Have you seen him?” At a private camp like this, I not only see him, but I see him compete. A good deal for me.
I have heard that the best and most influential football recruiting guy in Ohio says that all football camps/combines are awful. Mark Porter says that they are not worth anything. No value. A money maker. That only the college summer football camps are legit. The private camps like NIKE, Under Armour, and Rivals are not valuable.
One concern that I have is — remember what technique your high school football coaches want you to use. At every college camp I hear – “Now these are just some techniques that we use. If your high school coach wants a different technique, be sure to use his. This technique is what we use.” Because some instructor at a private camps tells you one thing, be sure to do what your high school says.
Another concern – believe half of what a recruiting writer says about a camper. Remember – a recruiting writer needs fans to come to his site. That is how he makes his money. If you are a power five recruit, you will read a lot about your upside. Just keep things in perspective, which is difficult for a 16 or 17, and his parents.
My major problem or concern would be that college coaches and/or “Decision Makers” are not present at private football camps. NCAA -“Coaches cannot go.” But these camps can still fill some of the needs, like the ones above of the football players who are D1 prospects.
The events like the Under Armour All American Camp are good for football players. If a parent and/or a recruit has the time and transportation, use a day to get BETTER.