Are you a big-time college football prospect waiting to be “discovered” by UGA or Georgia Tech?
If so, it could happen this weekend. UGA has its “Dawg Night” prospect camp on Friday, while Georgia Tech will play host to “Yellow Jacket Football Camp” on Friday and Saturday.
Both colleges also had camps last month, with each “discovering” players that earned football scholarship offers.
Rico Johnson, a wide receiver from Swainsboro High School, committed on the spot to UGA after being offered at Mark Richt Camp. At Georgia Tech, Florida defensive back John Marvin committed to the Yellow Jackets a couple of weeks after a camp offer.
“You do learn a lot about a kid at these camps, and how he’ll compete,” Richt said. “You know, there’s going to be the Michael Bennetts of the world. He shows up, he kind of matches up with some of the best DB’s on our recruiting board, and he has a field day, you know? It was like ‘This guy is a player, and we’ve got to get this guy.’
“So there’s still some guys that will pop up and get on the radar that maybe didn’t have an offer going into camp. But a lot of them have been offered by us already. Another thing, too, is that you just don’t have upcoming seniors at these camps. You’ve got juniors and sophomores. You get to see a lot of you talent, too, that will allow you to put them on your recruiting board early.”
Richt also mentioned Clint Boling and Ben Jones as prospects who won camp offers.
Times are changing in the recruiting world. It was 7-8 years ago that many of the state’s top rising seniors would either earn or solidify a football scholarship offer on the summer circuit. Nowadays, with colleges forced to offer scholarships earlier and earlier to gain inside position against competing schools, many top prospects already have offers by the spring of their junior season. In other words, they already hold offers before the summer.
However, Dawg Night and Yellow Jacket Football Camps are still extremely valuable because colleges can evaluate promising underclassmen, too.
“No doubt about that, I think Junior Days are going to turn into Sophomore Days,” Richt said. “By the time these guys are upcoming seniors, we’ll consider it a Junior Day. But you get to the point now where those guys need more one-on-one attention and have unofficial visits where it’s just them. The group settings are going to be catered more to the guy who is going to be a high school junior or sophomore.”
What do you think? Did you like the old days when many rising seniors had to earn offers at camp? Or do you like the way things have evolved with earlier offers?
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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