South Carolina football coaching staff made its presence known Friday at South Carolina Elite Prospect Camp at Ridge View High Camp.
Gamecocks’ defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson and three other USC coaches were in attendance at the inaugural event.
“Glad to be part of this here at Ridge View,” Robinson said. “Coach (Perry) Parks does a great job, and has been to our campus several times and we wanted to pay back the favor. We wanted to come and evaluate the talent in the area. I have Richland County, and it’s good to see the kids work out and get more familiar with me.”
Robinson said USC coaches have been to three or four of the satellite camps during the offseason. He said it’s a good way for the coaching staff to build relationships with players and coaches throughout the state, and maybe see a player who hasn’t been on the school’s radar.
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With college coaches running the drills, Robinson said his favorite part of the camps is being able to teach techniques to the players.
“Always good to get out of the office for a bit,” he said.
Satellite camps have been the hot topic in the offseason. NCAA Division I Legislative Council voted against college coaches serving as guest instructors at camps. However, the NCAA Board of Directors overturned the ruling a few weeks later.
There were 22 schools represented at the camp. Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina brought nearly their entire coaching staffs. Ridge View coach and event organizer Perry Parks said Michigan, which has been all over the country at satellite camps, was a late cancellation.
Colorado State traveled the furthest distance for the camp because director player personnel Geoff Martzen and tight ends coach Joe Cox, a former quarterback at Georgia, were in attendance. Former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is the coach at CSU, and made a priority of recruiting from the Southeast.
The Rams signed 12 players in the last class from the Southeast, including Dorman quarterback Collin Hill.
“It gives us a chance to see a group of kids we normally wouldn’t see, and it lets them see us and interact with us. Really helpful for a school that isn’t from around here,” Martzen said.
CSU coaches have attended 18 satellite camps this summer, and Martzen wouldn’t hesitate to do it again if the NCAA lets the camps continue next year.
“Little bit of a grind,” he said. “But we got a lot out of the whole camp circuit. It is something I would do all over in front again for sure.”
More than 200 players attended the camp, which lasted almost three hours. Some players tweeted out offers they picked up shortly after the event including Airport’s Kerryon Richardson (Georgia State), Dutch Fork’s Malik Sumter (Presbyterian) and Ridge View’s Cam Muller (Coastal Carolina).
“Instead of traveling throughout the country to go to these camps at different universities, just come here to this camp and do what you do,” said Spring Valley defensive back Shaun Moore. “Coach Parks put on a great camp here.”
Friday’s camp wrapped up a busy couple of weeks for Ben Lippen quarterback Patrick McClure. The senior camped at Mercer last weekend and spent three days at Clemson’s camp, where he picked up an offer from Western Carolina.
“This is a good situation for high school players around the state to come to a central location and showcase their ability in front of all sorts of coaches from every different level,” McClure said.