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Football Recruiting News

A Few Football Recruiting Updates for the UK Fans of the Day

—  Kentucky makes the cut for Ahman Ross.  You might have forgotten about Ahman Ross.  The 3-star 2017 safety was a one-time Miami commit.  Once he removed his pledge, he was arguably Kentucky’s top target because he’s teammates with Mac Jones at The Bolles School.  Jones’ decision to flip to Alabama has not made a difference for Ross.  He recently told Rivals that Kentucky, Louisville and West Virginia are his leaders.  He plans to visit Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky in July.

—  Russ Yeast explains his decision to decommit.  The son of Craig Yeast, one of the best receivers to ever wear a Kentucky uniform, committed to Kentucky on July 28 of last year, but removed his pledge on June 16.  A two-way athlete, Yeast explained why he reopened his recruitment to The Cats Pause.

“I just don’t feel like it is the best situation for me. Some people can’t see why because my parents played sports there and all but in the end I’m the one going to school,” Yeast told The Cats’ Pause.

“Nothing happened between me and the coaching staff that forced me to make my decision nor did any in my family force me to make that decision; unlike what some reporters and people may think. I just need to take some time to back off and fully evaluate some of these other programs and make a proper decision.”

He’s still open to Kentucky but his decision is likely down to Louisville, Iowa, Ole Miss, Auburn, Illinois and Northwestern.

—  Cats in the mix for 2017 wide receiver.  3-star Florida WR Leroy Henley Tweeted out a Top 11 earlier today.

I wouldn’t normally share something like this, but I want you to pay attention to the handle at the end.  Who is @Hayesfawcett3?  He’s only one of the nation’s preeminent recruiting insiders and he’s just 15 years old.  Fawcett creates many of the edits you see when players trim their list or commit via Twitter.  Fawcett’s story from The Clarion Ledger is one of the most fascinating articles I’ve read in a long time.  I highly recommend investing a few minutes of your time.

—  JD’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.  I don’t know how anyone can have as many handshakes as JD Harmon, but the senior from Paducah pulls it off.  This time he has the mascots in the mix.


Jedrick Wills trims list to eight, includes Kentucky

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One of Kentucky’s top in-state targets in the 2017 recruiting class has eliminated two schools from consideration, narrowing his list from 10 to eight schools.

Jedrick Wills, the five-star offensive tackle out of Lexington, is down to Kentucky, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU and Florida, he announced today on Twitter, in that order.

Wills eliminated Michigan State and Ohio State. Take that, Big Ten.

His high school coach recently told the Courier-Journal the plan is to make a decision before his senior season.


Recruiters give Tips for those who want to be Recruited

 Garry Jones | AP

Garry Jones | AP

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that modern collegiate recruiting is a messy business.  The stakes are high, high enough to lead people to do crazy things.

Even though many people have probably tired of the social media surrounding recruiting — the commitments, the decommitments, the never-ending process — at the end of the day a college scholarship can change the future of a family.  They are coveted by many, but only given to few.  The New York Times spoke to six coaches in a variety of NCAA sports to provide advice for those who want to reach the next level.  Unsurprisingly, their responses revolve around common sense.

“There are kids I don’t recruit because I see their social media.” — Audra Smith, Clemson women’s basketball coach

Social media has become a powerful tool in the recruiting process, just listen to Hal Mumme’s anecdote from last week.  Not only has it become another avenue of communication between players and coaches, it’s provided more opportunities to be seen with film services like Hudl.  But social media reflects its user; most teenage users have dumbass tendencies.  It’s not just when they change their name to “Naturalbornkilla” or something along those lines, it’s when they consistently post inappropriate remarks.  The beautiful tragedy of social media is that it doesn’t even need to be misused consistently.  It only takes one time to shut the door on a golden opportunity.

“If your child is talented and loves it, be sure to provide them with competitive opportunities to grow their game and to gain exposure but keep it in perspective. Candidly, I worry about the money that is spent today on competitive youth sports.” — Gene McCabe, Washington and Lee’s men’s lacross coach

You don’t need to specialize and spend 11 months a year playing one sport.  Not only is it an easy way to get burnt out, repeated motion can lead to significant injuries.  Multi-sport stars carry high capital in Freddie Maggard’s evaluation process, a process that isn’t different than most coaches.  Besides, sports are supposed to be fun.  Why limit yourself to just one?

“We look for athletes who are also serious students, ones who are challenging themselves in the classroom by taking tough courses and doing well in them.” — Lisa Miller, Harvard women’s lacrosse coach

Of course the Harvard coach is focused on academics, but this trait isn’t unique to the Ivy League.  How many times have you heard Lamar Thomas talk about being consistent on and off the field?  He said it all spring and at least three times while hosting KSR.  The easiest way to measure how one is performing off the field is by seeing what they’re doing in the classroom.  Not everyone can be valedictorian (but the fact that I was might prove otherwise), but you can prove that you’re a hard worker by simply showing a report card.

“The kind of athlete I’m looking for is one who can handle adversity.” — Audra Smith

Mommy and Daddy, you might think you can help them solve their problems in high school, but you’re really just making things worse.  They’re going to have to figure it all out in college, so why set them back?  If the athlete thinks they deserve more playing time, they should be the one talking to coach, not you.  That’s how things will work in college.  It will not be easy, it will be a struggle.  The sooner they learn how to appropriately react to adversity, the better.

“I ask them: what are your goals, what do you hope to accomplish, and how is your behavior now helping you accomplish those goals?” — Nick Saban

“The process” is infamous coach speak, because it’s the truth.  Good habits create good results.  Forming a daily routine with your eyes on the prize, along with some talent and a little bit of luck, could have you sitting next to Saban.

For more advice: What College Sports Recruiters Can Teach Your Child


Florida Wide Receiver Commits to Kentucky

2017 Hollywood, Fl. wide receiver Joshua Ali has committed to Kentucky.  The 3-star wide receiver was recruited by Eddie Gran, choosing Kentucky over 20 other offers, most notably Louisville, Iowa, Illinois, West Virginia and North Carolina State.

The 6-foot Ali caught 56 passes for 865 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, and is ranked as the nation’s No. 70 athlete by the 247 Sports Composite.  The tenth commitment from the Class of 2017 is extremely athletic in the open field.  You can see his talents on display in the highlights below.

The timing of the announcement is impeccable, only eleven days after the Cats lost 2017 wide receiver Russ Yeast.

UPDATE

After it was reported by a few recruiting organizations, Ali made his commitment official on Twitter.

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LeBron James’ Monday Morning Wakeup

LeBron James’ Monday Morning Wakeup

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a new week. Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in a classic Game 7 to win the NBA Finals, and while I was preoccupied with Game of Thrones‘ Battle of the Bastards, I did flip over to catch the last five minutes. Seeing LeBron and his teammates celebrate their gutsy comeback and the city’s first championship in 52 years was pretty heartwarming, even for this Steph Curry fan.

I’d love to dedicate the rest of this post to the Battle of the Bastards, but I’m scared people will maul me to death with stones in fear of spoilers, so I’ll just say this: the battle scene was the best I’ve ever seen on television or in film. Director Miguel Sapochnik’s vision took 25 days to film and involved 500 extras, 600 crew members, and 70 horses, and it was absolutely mesmerizing. I’ve always considered the battle scene in “Braveheart” to be the best ever, but last night’s tops it in my book. I can’t wait to watch it again later today.

Lots to do before then, so let’s get to it…

It’s NBA Draft Week

The NBA Draft is Thursday night, and, for the first time ever, KSR is covering the event in person. I’m headed up to New York City Tuesday night to prepare for Media Day on Wednesday. So far, we know Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere will be at the Draft, and hopefully Tyler Ulis will be as well. Get ready for lots and lots of draft coverage, including hourly mock draft updates from Chad Ford. (I’m only halfway kidding about that.)

2018 quarterback Jarren Williams committed last night

ClWOSQuWAAAW2l3

Last night, the UK Football coaching staff got some good news when 2018 quarterback Jarred Williams committed. Now, given the recent string of decommitments and the tumultuous nature of football recruiting these days, probably best not to go ahead and buy your “Williams” UK jersey, but for now, be pleased there’s some positive news surrounding the program. The 6’3″ Snellville, Georgia native also has offers from Oregon and Louisville, along with interest from Ohio State, which means he must be doing something right. Make him feel welcome with a tweet to @Jarren2Williams.

“OJ Made in America” was hard, but important, to watch

I spent a lot of last week watching ESPN’s five-part 30 for 30 masterpiece, “OJ: Made in America.” After FX’s series about the OJ trial earlier this year, I was worried about OJ overload, but Ezra Edelman’s take on OJ’s life, the city of Los Angeles, and the trial was captivating. Watching it wasn’t always pleasant — I’ll never unsee that picture of Nicole Brown Simpson’s neck — but I couldn’t look away. I was only 11 when the OJ trial took place, so seeing the crime broken down in such a pragmatic, step-by-step manner was both enlightening and extremely disturbing. By the end, it became clear to me that the trial was more about the racial tension in the city of Los Angeles than it was about the actual crime, which is sad. Like all important works do, the documentary stuck with me. If you missed it, all five parts are available on WatchESPN.com.

John Robic has a beard and it’s freaking me out

Image via Jennifer Palumbo

The coach with the fairest hair of them all showed off some new facial fuzz at UK’s basketball camp last night and, honestly, that beard is freaking me out a little bit. Someone keep an eye on Robic so he doesn’t move to Key West and retire to a life of flip flops, swim trunks, and conch fritters.

Meanwhile, I found last night’s discussion of Calipari’s outdoor TV setup very entertaining:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 9.32.52 PM

Leave it to the KSR Comments Section to scrutinize the smallest things, including why the TV is so small, why it is hanging crooked, and whether or not he brings it in and out every night.

Aaron Torres and the Fox Sports 1 crew take over KSR

We’re now on Week two of Matt’s vacation, which means we have a whole new slate of guest hosts. Aaron Torres, author of “One and Fun,” the story of the 2009-2010 UK team, takes over the show today, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one. Get some work done now so you can give it your full attention in about an hour.


YAHTZEE! Jarren Williams commits to Kentucky

@Jarren2Williams

@Jarren2Williams

Class of 2018 quarterback Jarren Williams is bringing a bright light into UK Football today despite the string of recent decommitments.

Williams is a pro style quarterback who should bode nicely with Eddie Gran’s offense in two years.

Standing at 6-3 and 201 pounds, Williams had 10 other offers including Florida State, West Virginia, and Louisville.

Check out some highlights:

This makes me happy.


Jedrick Wills backs up five-star ranking at Rivals100 camp

247Sports

Just days after accepting his offer to play in the Under Armour All-America game, Jedrick Wills has received many more great reviews from the performance he had at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge this past weekend in Atlanta.

Performance: Last year at this time Wills was in Mays’ position – an unknown underclassman who dominated the competition. This year he entered as a five-star with a target on his back, but he more than defended his ranking with his showing. Wills is about 20 pounds lighter than he was a year ago, but he packs the same punch.

Wills is interested in practically every elite program from the Big Ten and SEC, so the Cats have quite a hill to climb to get the five-star prospect out of Lafayette High School. At 6’4″, 315, Wills is a force with tremendous size and strength, and he has the skills to become a quality player either inside or outside at the college level. It’s not going to be easy to reel him in, but it must be done. In the video below he had great things to say about UK and his relationship with coach Schlarman in his most recent interview at Rivals100 camp, check it out.

 


Jedrick Wills visits UT, seven players commit

Jedrick Wills visits UT, seven players commit

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It was a big day for the Tennessee football program, as they managed to rake in seven commitments on their “Orange Carpet Day” in Knoxville.

Several top prospects across the nation were in town visiting for the event, one of whom being 2017 five-star OT and Kentucky target Jedrick Wills.

Thankfully for us, Wills was not one of the seven to pull the trigger.

The 6’5″ 315 lbs tackle is UK’s top priority for the 2017 class, and given the latest string of decommitments for the Wildcats, it’d be huge to reel him in.

Wills is listed as a five-star, coming in as the 13th best prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com. He is located right in UK’s backyard playing for Lafayette High School in Lexington, and has been on hand to visit several home games at Commonwealth.

Here’s to hoping.


KSR Week in Review: June 13-17

KSR Week in Review: June 13-17

weekinksr

It’s been an interesting and busy week in KSR land with both Matt and Nick on vacation, but Drew and I have done our best to plow through. In case you’ve also been on vacation, here’s what you missed this week:

 

*****

MONDAY

— John Calipari was named to a committee to give feedback on the NCAA Tournament Selection process.

Freddie explained some more football terms to us.

— Nick and TJ Walker broke down episode 8 of “Game of Thrones.”

Marcus Lee to Cal became official

UK got a new baseball coach in Nick Mingione.

Alan Cutler took over KSR in a way only Alan Cutler can

— Drew presented you with the first KSR Mock Draft of the summer

Malik Monk proved he can fly

— Nick told us more about satellite camps


TUESDAY

— Coach Cal went on the Mike Lupica Show

— ..And threw some shots at Louisville and Rick Pitino.

Freddie broke down his frontrunners for the Rimington Trophy

Matthew Mitchell and Ryan Lemond took over KSR

— We first heard about Tyler Ulis’ hip issue.

— Mitch Barnhart announced plans for a $45 million baseball facility

Drew broke down some footage of the newcomers at one of the UK Basketball camps


WEDNESDAY

— The basketball team got in some very early work at the Nutter Training Center

— Drew profiled five 2018 targets John Calipari might have called after the contact period began

Isaiah Briscoe and Tai Wynyard spoke to the media about their experiences this summer

Tyler Ulis worked out for the Chicago Bulls

Paul Biancardi broke down UK’s freshmen with Jay Bilas, who hosted KSR from the Studio 1C dungeon in Charlotte

— A Cincinnati news station released the dash cam footage of Derek Willis’ arrest


THURSDAY

— Drew told us what the pundits are saying about UK’s draft prospects one week before the big day

Willie Cauley-Stein joined me and Jennifer Palumbo in studio.

— Erin Calipari told us about her dad’s many superstitions

— Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury said WKU students that wear UK or UofL shirts need to transfer

— SLAM Magazine did an excellent video feature on Tyler Ulis

— John Short convinced Willie Cauley-Stein to do a Bluegrass album

Russ Yeast decommitted


FRIDAY

— Governor Matt Bevin removed all existing members from the UofL Board of Trustees and announced UofL president James Ramsey is retiring

— We found out Charles Matthews is visiting Xavier

— Willie Cauley-Stein showed off a portrait of himself with “Space Jam” characters that he commissioned

— ESPN’s Chad Ford shared his thoughts on where UK’s players will be drafted

Lamar Thomas, Eddie Gran, and Vince Marrow gave us two entertaining hours of Kentucky Sports Radio, featuring a call from Darius Rucker, which made Ryan Lemond melt

— Vince Marrow spoke out about decommitments

 

Now, go enjoy your weekend.


Vince Marrow speaks out about decommitments

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Last night, the UK Football coaching staff was dealt a blow when 2017 WR/CB Russ Yeast decommitted. Coming on the heels of Mac Jones’ decommitment last week, the announcement was discouraging, especially since Yeast is a legacy recruit. On this morning’s show, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow was asked how the staff deals with decommitments, and while he was unable to speak about specific recruits, he gave a pretty interesting answer.

“I think kids, sometimes they commit, they come to a school, they commit, they fall in love with the coaching staff, the university, and then they go back home and that’s what their choice is, but then, in this time and day, you get a lot of people in the guys’ ears, whether they got relatives that went to Michigan or cousins at Michigan State, and they way we’ve been recruiting in Toledo, which is a Big 10 area, we’ve took a lot — I don’t know the number of kids we took out of Ohio — now, we start to get bombarded from a lot of other schools just teaming in on us.”

“I tell kids, if they’re unsure — and this actually comes from Coach Stoops — if they’re unsure, then don’t commit. But when they actually committed to us and they start wavering a little bit, instead of going and visiting all these schools and have our name attached to it, you probably need to decommit because that’s something Coach Stoops won’t stand for.”

Marrow pointed out that just because kids decommit doesn’t mean they won’t eventually recommit, using defensive end Denzil Ware and safety Marcus Walker as examples of players who backed off their commitments but changed their minds in the end.

“A lot of these kids that decommitted, we are still one or two on their list,” Marrow said. “You’ve just got to let them go, find and see if other schools can match what we match and the relationships they have with our staff, and some of them come back.”

Wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas said he tries to keep in mind his experiences as a star recruit back in the day before he went to Miami.

“These kids are making lifelong decisions. This is the first big decision of their lives, and you can’t fault them for that,” Thomas said. “All I say as a coach, all we should do, is wish them good luck because it’s their decision.”

Really good stuff here from Marrow and Thomas starting around the 24-minute mark:


An Incredible Night of Sports’ Friday Morning Wakeup

An Incredible Night of Sports’ Friday Morning Wakeup

lebrondempsey

If you weren’t in front of your television watching sports last night, I sure hope you had something better to do, because, man…what a night. The Cavaliers beat the Warriors to force Game 7, while the US Men’s National Team beat Ecuador to advance to the semifinals in the Copa America for the first time since 1995. I focused on soccer more than basketball, but both games were incredible, with LeBron turning back into Superman and Clint Dempsey and the USMNT hanging on in the final minutes to become the first semifinal qualifier. Dempsey scored America’s first goal at 22 minutes in, followed by a Gyasi Zardes tap in at 65 minutes. Ecuador would not go quietly, scoring in the 74th minute, but the US was able to hang on to face the winner of Argentina/Venezuela on Tuesday night in Houston. I’ll regret this later, but bring on Messi.

Meanwhile, the NBA Champion will finally be crowned Sunday night in Oakland. But, if you listen to Steph Curry’s wife Ayesha, it’s all rigged:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.58.19 PM

I’ll admit that I sometimes think the same, but I’m not the wife of the two-time NBA MVP that just got ejected in the closing minutes of Game 6 while his team’s losing, so…

While I’m always going to be #TeamSteph because, you know, Davidson, I do admire LeBron for his classy remarks to TNT reporter Craig Sager after the game:

Sager is battling leukemia and worked his first NBA Finals game last night. There’s a campaign brewing to get him to work Game 7, but apparently, he’s already got plans to play golf for Father’s Day.

Anyways, plenty to go over today, so let’s get to it.

ICYMI, Russ Yeast decommitted

The biggest news from yesterday was the decommitment of WR/CB Russ Yeast, son of Craig Yeast and one of the remaining lynchpins in the 2017 class. Yeast’s decision comes a week after Mac Jones flipped his commitment to Alabama, and is another reminder that football recruiting is extremely tenuous. Yeast is tight with Jones and fellow decommits James Hudson and Mike Warren, and while there’s still plenty of time until Signing Day, losing a legacy recruit is troubling.

El Toro goes up in the US Open

Mother Nature kept Kent Bulle and most of the golfers from beginning their first rounds at the US Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania yesterday, so Bulle, caddie Aaron Flener, and the Bulle Pen will be pulling double duty today. Kent teed off at 8:11 a.m. this morning and will go again at 1:56 p.m. for round two. You can keep up with KSR’s favorite golfer on FS1 starting at 10 a.m. or on usopen.com. Don’t worry, I’ll be bringing you updates as well. 

Also at Oakmont: John Calipari, who went to watch his favorite golfer, one-and-doner Jordan Speith. Here he is hanging out with Steelers Director of Operations Management Jim Sacco:

@UKCoachCalipari

I’m glad to see Calipari sports the Tommy Bahama Relaxed Fit linen shirts during the summertime. They just breathe better, you know?

Go see Willie Cauley-Stein today at AllSports in Fayette Mall

Didn’t get enough Willie Cauley-Stein yesterday? He’ll be signing autographs at AllSports in Fayette Mall tonight from 6-7:30 p.m., so head on down to say hello. If you missed Willie on yesterday’s show, click here to check out the podcast.

Lamar Thomas, Vince Marrow, and Eddie Gran take over KSR

Tune in an hour from now for all things football.


2017 WR/CB Russ Yeast decommits

Some unfortunate news from the football recruiting world: 2017 wide receiver/cornerback Russ Yeast has decommitted. The son of UK legend Craig Yeast announced the news on Twitter a few minutes ago:

Yeast committed to Kentucky back on July 28, 2015. He’s considered the 37th best cornerback in the 2017 class by 247 Sports Composite. There’s a long way until Signing Day, but this is discouraging to say the least.

Also, why did Mac Jones feel the need to retweet Yeast’s decommitment?

And Michael Warren and James Hudson’s decommitments…

Come on, Mac. No need to be petty.


Jedrick Wills accepts invite to Under Armour All-America Game

jedrick-lemond

One of Kentucky’s top football targets is an Under Armour All-American. Jedrick Wills, the five-star offensive lineman out of Lafayette, tweeted the news this morning in a note:

His former Lafayette teammate, Landon Young, participated in the game last year, along with Kash Daniel and Drake Jackson.

Wills has a current top 10 of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and your University of Kentucky Wildcats, he announced around this time last month.


Coaches chat it up at the Midwest Gridiron Showcase.

KSR Goes (Satellite) Camping: Democratizing Football Recruiting

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SEC coaches are not fans of satellite camps.

“If we’re all going to travel all over the country to have satellite camps, you know, how ridiculous is that? I mean we’re not allowed to go to all-star games, but now we’re going to have satellite camps all over the country. So it doesn’t really make sense.” — Nick Saban

“We are trying to get guys to cover the camp but most of our assistant coaches and myself – I’m not going to go to any satellite camps,” Saban said last Thursday. “I don’t know how much it benefits anybody because all the people that say this is creating opportunities for kids, this is all about recruiting,” Saban said. “That’s what it’s about. Anybody that tells you that. What’s amazing to me is somebody didn’t stand up and say here’s going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing.”

“I’m selfish with my time,” he said. “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go. I was ready to. We would’ve jumped in with the rest of them and gone to work. But I’m glad we can have a camp and I can sleep at home.”  —  Hugh Freeze

It’s no secret that they aren’t fans of satellite camps, but why is there so much animosity towards satellite camps from SEC coaches?  Jim Harbaugh’s antics can take some of the blame, simple laziness takes credit for more, but the reason why they dislike satellite camps comes from a much darker place: it makes their jobs more difficult.

Traditional Recruiting

Recruiting in college football is much different than recruiting in other sports because there is no football in the offseason.  Basketball, baseball, volleyball and the olympic sports are played year-round for a variety of different amateur athletic associations.  There is no such thing as “travel football.”

College and high school seasons are played at the same time.  The only opportunity to watch a recruit in person is during a bye week.  If you’re Mark Stoops, you might make a splash by flying a helicopter in for the game.

Since they often can’t see the athletes in person, the only way to watch the prospects play is through game tape.  Recruits cut up highlight reels and send them to the schools they desired to attend.  Graduate assistants pour through hours of film, slowly narrowing their pool of potential prospects.  From there, the coaches reach out to the best with mailings and maybe phone calls to show their interest.

It takes a lot of luck to get noticed by simply sending in film.  The preferred method is by “knowing a guy.”  Over many years, coaches at powerhouse high school programs develop relationships with college assistant coaches.  Those relationships grow stronger when a high school coach sends an elite player to a specific school.  As an example, if Phillip Haywood at Belfry sent an elite offensive lineman to Kentucky, the coaches at UK wold keep their ears open the next time he tells them, “I got this kid you need to see.”

Nobody is better at recruiting through a social network than Vince Marrow.  As Marrow told Matt (either on the radio or in a podcast), he has a connection to at least one person at every school in Ohio.  Those connections help coaches spot talent early, finding elite recruits that could not be found by someone who didn’t have a connection to that recruit’s high school.

This system of handshakes and back-slapping is turned upside down by satellite camps.

Making New Connections

Coaches chat it up at the Midwest Gridiron Showcase.

Coaches chat it up at the Midwest Gridiron Showcase.

It takes years to create extensive relationships in the traditional recruiting model.  Even if a college coach can tap into an elite local high school, the odds that they last more than five years at one particular college are slim.  If their next job is in a different region, the process starts over.

The best recruiters build relationships in talent-rich states.  Even though players rarely go too far from home, that’s not always the case.  You can recruit Florida players from almost anywhere east of the Mississippi River.  When Lamar Thomas went from Louisville to Kentucky, it didn’t force him to recruit elsewhere.  However, Thomas’ case is not the norm.

Satellite camps make it easier for new coaches to make connections in talent-rich areas.  They spend a lot of their time at camps socializing, shaking hands and talking about the best talent available.  Even though most of the coaches at last week’s Dayton satellite camp were from the area, a new hire could seamlessly create connections at the event.

In the past, it may have taken years to develop a relationship the produces top prospects.  Now all it takes is a good summer or two.

Putting the Players First

There are many people that hate AAU basketball.  They hate the style of play, they hate the lack of coaching, but they will learn to love it if their kid is playing in front of Calipari, Williams, Self and Kyzewxchewshki.  AAU basketball gives players an opportunity to showcase their skills.  It only takes one great game at the right time to catch the eye of the nation’s best coaches.

Instead of sending off film to schools and saying a prayer, football prospects don’t need to rely on luck to get noticed at a satellite camp.  Even if a player’s head coach isn’t best buds with Vince Marrow, he could make a play that makes Marrow ask, “Who is that?”

Most importantly, all of the coaches are in one place at the same time.  Instead of being forced to pay a lot of money to attend camp at Louisville, Kentucky, WKU Cincinnati and Tennessee, they could spend $60 to attend one camp and be seen by coaches from all of those schools and more.

If you don’t think it’s beneficial for players, here’s what Twitter looked like after Dayton’s satellite camp:

I won’t bore you with more, but I think you understand the implications.


There’s no denying that the dynamics are different in football than than other sports.  Players don’t wear pads at camp.  Just because you can make plays in 7-on-7 doesn’t mean you can do the same with a linebacker waiting tee-off in the middle of the field.  It might make things more difficult for coaches, but it helps the players.

Satellite camps provide unprecedented opportunities for players to be seen by dozens of college programs that could provide them a meal ticket for the next four years.

The next time you hear an SEC coach whining about satellite camps, it’s not because they’re lazy or because they’re sick of Jim Harbaugh, it’s because satellite camps make their jobs more difficult.  “Access for all” takes away the advantages for the powerhouse programs — facilities, program pedigree etc. — and allows everyone a chance to get a piece of that pie.


Mac Jones’ Reaction to Hinshaw’s Tweet

It’s been a week since Mac Jones pulled the trigger and dumped the Cats for the Crimson Tide.  During the fallout, quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw Tweeted the following quote, a Tweet that was retweeted by Lane Kiffin.

After speaking with several Alabama media outlets about his decision, he discussed his reaction to the fallout earlier today.

“Coach Hinshaw probably didn’t mean to blow it up like that. He’s allowed to tweet whatever he wants. Coach Kiffin told me he was going to get my back and he retweeted it. I was pretty happy about that. It shows that Coach Kiffin has my back. The other twitter stuff, I didn’t really read. Some people shot direct messages at me on Twitter and Facebook, got my number, stuff like that. People were pretty pissed about it. I had to read those because I didn’t know where they were coming from. But I feel like I handled it pretty well.”

He didn’t discuss his deleted response, but he did reveal that he didn’t completely blindside the Cats, calling UK’s coaches before announcing his decision.  “I felt like it was my responsibility. I  have respect for all the coaches there and feel like they are on the rise.”

This should close the curious case of Mac Jones and Kentucky.

[Al.com]