Time for summer camping

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It’s that time of year, folks. No, I’m not talking about the greatest sports spectacle on Earth that is the World Cup. It’s camping season in college football.

High schoolers from all over will be flocking to college campuses between now and August to show off, learn and meet coaches.

Last year, we saw future Gator signees like Ronald Powell, Trey Burton, Mike McFarland and Jonathan Dowling compete in Gainesville in June. It was this time last year that redshirt freshman wide receiver Stephen Alli impressed so much that he went from total obscurity to getting a scholarship offer from Florida and turning down Harvard to play for the Gators.

Two years ago, Andre Debose showed up, Georgia tight end Orson Charles competed with current Gator Desmond Parks and former Gator five-star defensive tackle signee Gary Brown muscled his way through pretty much every offensive lineman he met.

These camps are open to anyone who would like to participate (grades 6-12 usually), but for legit Division-I prospects, these camps can serve as a way of getting noticed by college coaches (see Alli). Florida’s camps can run at $300 for day campers, while overnight campers must spend $350.

It’s also a way for coaches to get some much-needed personal time with prospects. If coach Urban Meyer hadn’t have spent as much time with Powell as he did last June, he’d probably be at USC NOT playing for anything for the next two years.

OK, that was pretty low. I think it’s unfair for current players to be penalized for something that happened while they were freshmen in high school, but that’s for another day.

Florida’s camps get started Sunday and here’s a look at what will be going on in Gainesville over the next week.

Individual Camp #1
June 12-15
This is a camp for skill position players and is usually one of the more exciting camps. Quarterbacks participate as well, making for some exciting one-on-one drills.

Lineman Camp
Dates June 12-15
This is for the big boys. Some of the matchups are pretty fun to watch. Big name or not, when two larger athletes get together it can turn into fun.

Individual Camp #2
Dates June 16-19
Same as the first individual camp. Some times the bigger-name prospects come in during the later days of camp.

Quarterback Camp
Dates June 16-19
Obviously more quarterback prospects come in, which means more skill position players.

Kicking Camp
Dates June 21-23
Sure the kickers are given the spotlight, but it doesn’t stop other prospects from coming on campus. Sometimes they show up just for unofficial visits.

Here are other camps that should attract some top talent this summer:

Florida State — Jimbo Fisher Football Camp

  • Kicking Camp June 12-13
  • Session 3 High School Camp 1 June 16-19
  • Session 4 High School Camp 2 July 21-24

Miami — Randy Shannon Football Camp

  • June 12-14

USC

  • Mario Danelo Kicking Academy June 11
  • Offensive & Defensive Line Camp June 12
  • Skills Position Camp June 13
  • 7-On-7 Camp June 19-20
  • Rising Stars Camp (Day Camp) June 23 (Grades 11-12 as of Fall 2010) — Straight from USC’s Web Site: This camp is designed to benefit ADVANCED football players who possess the skills necessary to play at the highest level of collegiate football. Please take into consideration that this camp is fast paced, intensive, and very competitive.
  • Rising Stars Camp (Overnight) June 23-24 (Grades 11-12 as of Fall 2010)

Texas

  • Mini Camp 2 June 13 (Grades 11-12)
  • Session 2 June 13-16

Alabama

  • Kicking Camp June 12
  • OL/DL & 7-on-7 June 19
  • High School Camp 2 July 18-21

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