Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recruits Showcase Talent at Camps; the Workouts Give Prep Football Players Another Chance to Earn Offers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recruits Showcase Talent at Camps; the Workouts Give Prep Football Players Another Chance to Earn Offers

Article excerpt

Byline: HAYS CARLYON

The world of college football recruiting used to run on a fairly simple formula. A prospect would put together a strong senior season, visit schools in December and January, then sign a letter-of-intent with his college of choice on the first Wednesday in February.

Now, the importance of a strong senior season has been devalued a bit.

Players are evaluated earlier these days, and summer camps have sprouted up as one of the most important tools for prospects aiming for elite college football schools.

Tonight, the University of Florida will conduct its summer camp, called Friday Night Lights, and coach Urban Meyer will welcome dozens of players to see what they can offer his team. Each of Meyer's three previous years, the camp has jump-started the Gators' recruiting efforts, which have been among the nation's best.

The next day, Florida State will hold its camp, called Seminole Showcase.

For seniors who don't already hold an impressive scholarship offer list, the camps present a chance for them to show they can compete against the country's best high school players. Juniors also can receive an opportunity to get their names out early with a solid showing.

"These summer camps have become showcase events, and UF really invented this when Urban Meyer came in from Utah," said Mike Farrell, the national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "This has really become a big event.

"I still feel like film is film, and that's still the most important thing in evaluating a prospect. What you do in full pads in full contact should matter the most, but there's no question that a strong performance at one of these camps can open up the floodgates to a bunch of offers for a player."

The cost of attending a camp is around $30, but the chance to earn a scholarship offer makes the investment worth it.

"Florida probably is holding back five or six offers in their pocket for guys who are productive in their camp," Fletcher High School coach Joe Reynolds said. …

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