Recruiting is much different these days compared to when I was in high school. As with most things, technology has impacted the recruiting world as well. No more mailing out VHS tapes or mailing letters. Don't often see coaches lined up at the end of the field on Friday night watching big time prospects. These days, with technology like Hudl or You Tube at your disposal, editing and sending film to coaches has become very simple and efficient. But what if your highlights alone aren't getting attention from coaches? College Camps can be the difference.
These days most colleges either offer a camp on their campus or in the case of some smaller schools, they may attend a camp at another school. Generally a school on higher level that they are not competing with for recruits. These camps are beneficial for both the coaches as well as the players. Coaches not only get the chance to see a lot of players on their campus work out at one time, but they also get a chance to visit with the prospective recruits. They get to show off their facilities and campus at the same time. This is especially important for schools that don't have massive recruiting budgets and aren't able to send their staff all over the country building relationships with players and high school coaches. For the recruit, if gives you a chance to show what you can do.
Most of the camps are similar. Generally involve getting your height, weight etc. A few drills like the 40 yard dash, vertical jump and the shuttle are pretty common. After you run through those drills, they generally split you off to more position specific drills and then the camp usually ends with 1 on 1's. If you are a skill player that usually involves a QB throwing to a Receiver, Tight End or Running Back with the Corner backs, Safeties and Linebackers covering. Some camps will do full 7 on 7. Offense Lineman and Defensive Lineman generally compete against each other in another area of the field. Might want to bring a mouth piece for the OL/DL battles. Even with out pads, they can be pretty physical!
The camps generally begin in late May and run towards the end of June right up until the Dead Period begins. Once the Dead Period ends, which is usually the first week of July some schools may hold more camps through the end of the month.
As I mentioned in my earlier post about Being Realistic, it is important to pick college camps where you have a real shot of playing. Especially if it is the summer before your Senior year. Time is of the essence at that point. If you haven't previously met them, introduce yourself to the coaches, especially the coach that recruits your area as well as your position coach. Prepare as much as possible in the off season to get bigger, stronger and faster so you are in the best shape of your life when the summer rolls around. Because being ready for college camps, could be the difference between playing college or not.