Advice on Football Camps

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    Advice on Football Camps

    I have no knowledge about this sort of thing. So I'd like some advice about a good track to take for a player who will be a junior in the 2017 season and has aspirations of playing in college--a small college not D1. His main position in High School is LB. He has also played RB at every level he's played.

    I have a flyer to the Union College and Collegiate Sports Data football combine on May 20. I am guessing that camp is to record some measurables and get his information out there.

    If this player were your son, what would you do from here? What camp(s) would you attend this year? Many of you have been or are going down this road. I'd appreciate it if you would share what you have learned.
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    Your best bet would be anything at the local colleges. Their coaches will be there, so that's a great exposure for them.


    The big national and regional travelling camps are one of two things. Either a money grab and sham, or something for the elite, high level recruits. If your child isn't elite and you aren't interested in wasting your money, stay with small colleges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotsnakes View Post
    Your best bet would be anything at the local colleges. Their coaches will be there, so that's a great exposure for them.


    The big national and regional travelling camps are one of two things. Either a money grab and sham, or something for the elite, high level recruits. If your child isn't elite and you aren't interested in wasting your money, stay with small colleges.
    Nailed it

    Typically the only camps that get much stock put in them are Nike, Rivals, Under Armour, Army All-American, and NUC. NUC is a step below the others but still pretty reputable...but outside of those the odds are strong that it is nothing more than a money grab with very little chance of true collegiate exposure.

    FBU is good for younger kids not yet in High School.


    A good rule of thumb, as funny as it may be, is anything that has the word "Five Star", "MVP", or "Elite" should be carefully vetted. The true "Elite" series (ex: Elite 11) is reputable, but if Elite is used as an adjective or along with other words...consider it sketchy.

    It's kind of like nail salons that have the word "USA" in their name. 100% chance no one in there is an American LOL

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    I guess this is a good side-story for this situation.

    A few years ago, I stumbled across a camp that claimed to have all of these high level guys. They were ranking guys with 4 and 5 stars at their positions, and everything like that. The whole deal was about how elite and high level these guys were.

    Out of their "top 75" list that they had made, I could find 2 guys who signed to play college ball anywhere. The cost for the camp? $175 for 2 days.


    One thing that works just as well as camp, is good game film and having a coach who has a good relationship with a nearby college.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotsnakes View Post
    I guess this is a good side-story for this situation.

    A few years ago, I stumbled across a camp that claimed to have all of these high level guys. They were ranking guys with 4 and 5 stars at their positions, and everything like that. The whole deal was about how elite and high level these guys were.

    Out of their "top 75" list that they had made, I could find 2 guys who signed to play college ball anywhere. The cost for the camp? $175 for 2 days.


    One thing that works just as well as camp, is good game film and having a coach who has a good relationship with a nearby college.


    I would say better than 50% of the time this is the deal along with going to that school's camp. Introducing yourself to the staff to get your foot in the door goes along way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLCat View Post
    Nailed it

    Typically the only camps that get much stock put in them are Nike, Rivals, Under Armour, Army All-American, and NUC. NUC is a step below the others but still pretty reputable...but outside of those the odds are strong that it is nothing more than a money grab with very little chance of true collegiate exposure.

    FBU is good for younger kids not yet in High School.


    A good rule of thumb, as funny as it may be, is anything that has the word "Five Star", "MVP", or "Elite" should be carefully vetted. The true "Elite" series (ex: Elite 11) is reputable, but if Elite is used as an adjective or along with other words...consider it sketchy.

    It's kind of like nail salons that have the word "USA" in their name. 100% chance no one in there is an American LOL
    I remember @ChiefSmoke mentioning Georgetown (KY) College as a good camp. I haven't seen anything on their web site yet but have been watching for it.

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    I'm a little biased, being a tiger myself, but having coached this very camp as a player/coach for 4 summers, I can tell you that this camp is worth every dollar. The kids get quality coaching directly from the gtown staff, gtown players and additional coaches. We did the same drills in this camp as we did in practice, albeit a little slower paced. Having coached this camp for 4 years, I can tell you that the kids that stood out in the camp somehow became familiar faces a year or two later...

    Plus your kid is gone for a whole week, you need a vacation. LOL. Camp is usually mid june

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    So with a rising Junior myself, this is how I view what we do. We've did this his Freshman year and also doing it this year. During the Dead period, June 24th, we will travel out of town to a small college. Its just me, my son, and my dad. We make it a bonding trip. While he is at the camp, if he can learn 1 thing that will make him a better player then its worth it. If you keep in mind going to a camp probably wont get him recruited but learning something that makes you a better player and using that and hard work might.

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    I went through the camp circuit with my brother last year. My advice go to the camps that are hosted by colleges. Whether your son wants to go D1, D2, D3, or NAIA go to as many of these as you have room for in the budget but also space them out, DO NOT do one everyday of the week your son will get wore out and not perform up to par towards the end of the week. You want to go to these camps atleast the summer after their freshman year. As to specific camps to go to I would recommend going to mostly D1 camps to start out because besides the host school there are 5-10 other college coaches there ranging from all levels evaluating. Once you get in contact with coaches you can probably focus in on what camps to attend. Like at one of the camps my brother went to was hosted by a D1 school, he got in contact with a coach from D2 school who saw him at the camp and then went to the D2 schools camp. Unless you invited to the prestigious Nike, UA, or Rivals camps I would stay away from the third party camps. Only one I would recommend is the Best of the Midwest. My brother went to 2 NUC camps and they were useless just took our $50 or whatever it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKYFootballer View Post
    I went through the camp circuit with my brother last year. My advice go to the camps that are hosted by colleges. Whether your son wants to go D1, D2, D3, or NAIA go to as many of these as you have room for in the budget but also space them out, DO NOT do one everyday of the week your son will get wore out and not perform up to par towards the end of the week. You want to go to these camps atleast the summer after their freshman year. As to specific camps to go to I would recommend going to mostly D1 camps to start out because besides the host school there are 5-10 other college coaches there ranging from all levels evaluating. Once you get in contact with coaches you can probably focus in on what camps to attend. Like at one of the camps my brother went to was hosted by a D1 school, he got in contact with a coach from D2 school who saw him at the camp and then went to the D2 schools camp. Unless you invited to the prestigious Nike, UA, or Rivals camps I would stay away from the third party camps. Only one I would recommend is the Best of the Midwest. My brother went to 2 NUC camps and they were useless just took our $50 or whatever it was.
    Bingo on this post. We went (prior to my son's junior year last season) to all the D1 KY camps. Along with some MAC camps and even Big 10 Camps. I say Thomas More and Lindsey Wilson at all of them. Other D3 schools as well. We also did some combines, Nike Opening and even signed up for a NUC event, which we skipped because of whether. In retrospect the only non college camp I would have done would have been Sound Body Sound mind in Detroit as this will be loaded with D1, D2 and D3 schools. But this camp is probably sold out. Unfortunately my son is on a waiting list this year. We haven't decided what camps to do this summer yet. He may commit prior to camp season. You are absolutely right about spacing them out. These kids get after it. Went to 10 camps last year. My son was wore out, plus injury risk. I say an ACL tear and and a nasty concussion. What I can say about the D1 camps is that you will see good competition in the 1 vs 1's. Probably better competition than you will vs your own teams scout offense or defense. Good Coaching instructions as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKYFootballer View Post
    I went through the camp circuit with my brother last year. My advice go to the camps that are hosted by colleges. Whether your son wants to go D1, D2, D3, or NAIA go to as many of these as you have room for in the budget but also space them out, DO NOT do one everyday of the week your son will get wore out and not perform up to par towards the end of the week. You want to go to these camps atleast the summer after their freshman year. As to specific camps to go to I would recommend going to mostly D1 camps to start out because besides the host school there are 5-10 other college coaches there ranging from all levels evaluating. Once you get in contact with coaches you can probably focus in on what camps to attend. Like at one of the camps my brother went to was hosted by a D1 school, he got in contact with a coach from D2 school who saw him at the camp and then went to the D2 schools camp. Unless you invited to the prestigious Nike, UA, or Rivals camps I would stay away from the third party camps. Only one I would recommend is the Best of the Midwest. My brother went to 2 NUC camps and they were useless just took our $50 or whatever it was.
    This hit the nail on the head! I took my son several years back to all the in state and a few out of state D-1 camps. He got feelers from several small schools at the in state camps his first go around but the one camp that had the most impact was at the University of Cincinnati camp. They had more small schools there than you could shake a stick at. A key is... I made sure he went and introduced himself to many of the reps that were there as well.

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    Do you homework. Been through this with my 4 sons so I tell parents this:
    1. Call the camp director and ask how many players are going to be there (I have found that anything over 250-275 campers is not advantageous). Also ensure that there will NOT be Junior College players there. UC (Under Tuberville) was notorious for that!!
    2. Find out if, and at what level, other colleges will be there
    3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Learn how to run a 40, do a broad jump & verticle jump, and the 3 cone (5-10-5) shuttle, times matter and 80% of the battle is techique. If you are participating in a Nike Regional you better be ready because slow times stick with you.
    4. Leave the "showcases, elite camps, NUCs, etc. etc." alone if there will not be any college coaches there. The only exception I would make is FBU which is strictly about teaching players great techniques and is put on by former NFL players. Took my son to one in Houston because I wanted him competing vs. a higher level of competition and faster players and it worked out perfectly as he had to raise his game which he did and it carried over into this past season and paid off with a D1 scholarship.
    5. Pick 3-4 camps and leave it at that. Doing too many more than that players get burned out on campitis.

    Again, the above is just "a" way and not "the" way. Do what makes sense from a $ and time standpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    I have no knowledge about this sort of thing. So I'd like some advice about a good track to take for a player who will be a junior in the 2017 season and has aspirations of playing in college--a small college not D1. His main position in High School is LB. He has also played RB at every level he's played.

    I have a flyer to the Union College and Collegiate Sports Data football combine on May 20. I am guessing that camp is to record some measurables and get his information out there.

    If this player were your son, what would you do from here? What camp(s) would you attend this year? Many of you have been or are going down this road. I'd appreciate it if you would share what you have learned.
    D3 wise the following conferences offer a wide variety of opportunity and success in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana: Heartland Conference, North Coast Athletic Conference. Note Centre plays in the Southern Athletic Association and TMC in the Presidents Athletic Conference.

    D2 is limited in the region. Great Midwest Athletic Conference and Great Lakes Conferences make up most of the teams.

    NAIA wise you have the Mid-South Conference, mostly made up of Kentucky schools. And the Mid East League in Indiana/Illinois.

    Research the schools and check out game films to identify potential fits. D2 and NAIA will provide more $$$ towards football than D3. Send emails with video to proper position coaches/DC/OC/HC. Build rapport and they will tell you what camps they will be at if they like what they see video wise.

    UC camps offer a slew of opportunities to cross paths with regional D2 and D3 coaches and OU camp at Mason HS in past years has been well attended also. I wouldn't recommend more than 1-2 camps a week. And I'd cap the number of camps in the single digits. Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the experience. Feel free to pm me with specific questions or concerns.

    Remember these coaches are looking for players that fulfill needs in their system and student-athletes with passion for the game that want to be a part of that schools culture and ability to help win conference championships. It's your alls job to convey to them your student-athlete can do that...

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    Thanks everyone for some great advice. I've also received a few PMs that have been very helpful. I am grateful.

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