Attending football camps is a great way for high school football players to learn and develop the skills they need to compete at the next level. Depending on where you’re at in the recruiting process, football camps can help you gain exposure to college coaches and potentially earn a scholarship offer. Get answers to top questions about football camps or search NCSA’s list of college football camps below to find a football camp near you.
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Camps is versatile term used in the football world. There are camps intended to develop skills and others provide exposure to college coaches. Below, we breakdown the different types of football camps, what to expect and who should attend.
Here are the 3 main types of football camps you can attend:
Exposure-style camps take place during the NCAA evaluation period. Skill development or position-specific camps can be found in just about every season. Attending a football skills camp before a college exposure camp to improve your skills and increase your chances of standing out.
Coaches want to see their top recruits perform in person. In fact, most college coaches will not even offer a football scholarship until they’ve seen them at a camp. D1 FBS level players may start to see offers coming through this year, but the remaining division levels typically wait to make offers until the summer before senior year. As you continue to develop and get stronger, attend football combines to refresh your recruiting profile.
A survey by Verified Athletics shows that most college football coaches almost exclusively focus on rising seniors at camp. D1 FBS programs split their time between rising seniors, juniors and sophomores.
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College coaches host football camps to recruit and make money for their program. During camp, a coach can assess your skill-level, maturity and athleticism to decide whether you’ll be a good fit. To make money, coaches send out mass emails to boost camp numbers. If you’re a top recruit, you should receive a personal invitation to camp from the coach.
Highly ranked football players can sit back and wait for coaches to contact them, but the majority need to be proactive to score a personal invite to a football camp. Research programs to know where you best fit as a player and student. Once you have your list of top schools, contact the coach. Include your combine numbers, highlight film and ask for an evaluation. If they’re interested in seeing you perform in person, they may extend an invite to an upcoming camp.
In addition to on-campus college programs, there are many great football events put on by established third-party organizers. The following are some of the best position-specific sessions to skills competitions you’ll find when you search for “football camps near me.”
Specialist players like kickers, punters and long snappers must learn and practice a unique set of skills that aren’t always offered at regular football camps. If the camp description or itinerary doesn’t mention specialist drills, it will be a waste of your time and money. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers can also benefit from attending camps that are geared towards their position and offer high quality training. The experience of the coach or instructor at a specialist camp will be most important.
Here are the top specialist camps to attend for training and recruiting exposure:
There is a common belief amongst football families that their athlete should only attend camps with college coach exposure. While these types of camps are crucial to your recruiting process, they aren’t the only ones you should consider. To earn a scholarship, you need to be more skilled and competitive than the player next to you. Making time for football camps that focus on skill development or position-specific drills can help you become a better football player and ultimately help you get noticed by college coaches at events.
If your athlete has multiple scholarship offers from D1 or top D2 schools, be sure to consult with your NCSA Recruiting Coach on which camps will be most beneficial to your recruiting process. Schedule a free recruiting assessment to learn more about the football recruiting process.
Simply showing up to a college football camp will not do the job — you will be one out of hundreds in attendance. If you’re not on the coach’s short list, your chances of getting noticed are slim unless you take the necessary steps beforehand. Two weeks out, email the coach to let them know who you are, why you’re interested in their program and that you’ll be attending camp. Follow up a few days before camp to keep your name top of mind.
To help you stand out at football camps, we’ve listed the top 8 traits college coaches must see from players.
Junior days have recently become a popular spring-time football recruiting event, especially on social media. Essentially, they’re organized, unofficial group visits. A common misconception is that junior days are camps. Players do not compete at junior days, but they may get to watch the team practice. You’ll tour the campus, locker room, stadium and weight room, meet with position coaches, players and academic advisors, and sit in on player meetings.
There is no “fee” to attend a junior day, but you will need to pay your own way to campus since it’s like an unofficial visit. Coaches invite their top recruits, but not all invites are exclusive. Overall, junior days can be a great experience for potential recruits to experience what college football life would be like. We recommend prioritizing the junior days at schools you are most interested in attending – and with programs that have shown interest in you!
Football camps offer you the opportunity to develop your skillset, gain exposure and explore college campuses. Create an NCSA Recruiting profile to receive and respond to college camp invites.
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