WITH THE SPRING evaluation period for football just around the corner, I am often asked about the camps and combine circuit.
The combines and camps are an important tool in recruiting process for the athletes seeking an advantage over other prospects. The most important reason to participate is exposure.
Some of the camps and combines are great avenues for connecting college coaches with athletes, but not all of these events are going to help.
Competitive camps, combines, and showcases bring in masses of potential prospects to put them through a testing phase where they have their height, weight, vertical jump, bench press, 40-yard dash time and shuttle time recorded.
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What you need to know is that according to NCAA rules, coaches from Division I and Division III football programs are not allowed to attend activities devoted to the testing of agilities, speed, and strength. Recruiting analysts serve as the coaches’ eyes and ears. Division II coaches are allowed to attend.
If you are a parent or athlete considering these events, I encourage you to research the sponsoring agencies. There are a lot of organizations producing these events who do not provide exposure to coaches. Many of these organizations tell you how many schools they send data to, but what they don’t tell you is that unsolicited data ends up in the trash can.
There are also organizations that claim to be “national” but are not a part of a media network that can provide national exposure. If you’re hitting an event that is not produced by Rivals.com organizations, such as SCVarsity.com, or Scout.com, or 247Sports, there is a high probability the exposure will be limited.
The other thing to consider is price. These events should be affordable to the participants. If you are paying more than $30 for a combine, you are probably paying too much. Some companies charge $80-100 and then offer a follow-up “elite” event for an additional cost.
The big company events are range from free to about $30.
Under the radar
Mustafa Love, wide receiver, Northwestern, 2014: This 6-foot-4, 175-pound athlete had a big year for the Trojans as a junior. He’s rangy with excellent body control, runs good routes, and has excellent hands. He could be the top wide receiver in the Class of 2014 for South Carolina.
Will Brunson, quarterback, Carolina Forest, 2015: Brunson (6-3, 180) is a traditional pro-style quarterback with good mechanics and a strong arm.
He’s got a couple of small hitches in his motion that he is working on, but this sophomore might be one of the top players in the 2015 class.
Adonus Lee, wide receiver, Westwood, 2014: Lee (6-3, 175) has a strong skill. He runs crisp routes, has deceptive speed, and has exceptional hands. He needs to hit the weight room to put on some weight.