FOOTBALL: Urban Meyer Sets Youth Camps For June

The new football staff at the University of Florida will be conducting their first edition of Urban Meyer's 2005 Gator Summer Youth Camps in June of this year. Coach John "Doc" Holliday is in charge of the organization of the camps and is expecting large turnouts in all of the available age groups. There are some changes in the camp atmosphere from years past and Coach Holliday joined us to fill Gator fans in.

Head Coach Urban Meyer will be heavily involved in the camp, especially teaching the little things that go into making a championship football player. Coach Holliday thinks that Meyer is looking forward to his chance to work with the young people.

"I know one thing, Coach Meyer is not going to be one of those coaches that just puts his name on the brochure," Holliday said. "He is going to be out there, coaching and involved. We are all excited to get this thing going."

The camps kick off on June 5 with a four-day session featuring teams, linemen and kicking specialists. In the team camp, the players will receive specialized attention from members of the Florida staff. There will be seven-on-seven games played and the teams must consist of at least 10 skilled players in a group. Their applications need to be sent together. There will also be a simultaneous lineman camp with full pads, hitting and competition. At the same time, there will be a kicking camp going on. Some of the top kicking coaches in the south will be on hand to instruct in kicking and punting. There will also be competition for kickers at the end of the session.

Coach Holliday expects a big turnout and says the Gator coaches cannot wait to see the youth that the Gator nation has to offer.

"It's a great concept, it works back to a lot of kids," he says of the competition involved in the first camp session. "There are a lot of schools in the state already signed up. Pompano Beach Ely High School and Glades Central High School to name a couple are already signed up. We will coach the skill kids individually in the mornings, our staff will. Then they will play seven-on-seven in the afternoon and at night, in team competition. The linemen will do their own thing and the kickers will have their camp going on at the same time. Our team camp is really the one we start with. We have a full padded lineman camp that is going on at the same time that is run by our coaches (with Coach Hevesy, Addazio, and Mattison) and kind of separate. We have a seven-on-seven skills passing camp going on and also a kicking camp."

This is a unique opportunity to get instruction from college coaches at an age level that just can't get this level of instruction. The players involved in the lineman camp are going to feel it when they are done, and no doubt will learn a lot from the experience.

"It is a full padded camp," Holliday said. "The bottom line is our coaches are going to coach that thing. They are going to have pads on and we are going to teach technique and fundamentals. I know Coach (John) Hevesy and Coach (Steve) Addazio, and all of them are real excited about it."

The next camp session will be held for little Gators from June 9-11. This will be for boys or girls 10 years old and younger. It will also include explicit instruction from all of the Gator football staff including Coach Meyer. This is a day camp only, so the little campers won't be allowed to stay over night this year.

"We are having a junior camp for little Gators for 10 years old and under," Holliday said. "As long as they can walk, we will take them. It will go from 9 in the morning till 4 p.m. in the afternoon. We will teach them real technique and fundamentals. No doubt, Coach Meyer is real excited about it and his kids will be there. We are going to have a lot of fun and they are going to find out what big time college football is all about."

As of now, the last scheduled session entitled the "Individual Camp" is scheduled for June 12-15. It is designed for kids aged 11 to entering the 12th grade. This camp will have more individualized attention from the same coaching staff and will be an overnight camp to take in the whole college experience.

"Then we will go to our 11-year-olds to twelfth graders, which is an overnight camp," Holliday said. "We will teach techniques and fundamentals for the older kids. That starts on Sunday and ends on Wednesday."

The campers are going to have a chance to see the full college experience. The overnight campers will be staying in campus dorms and all campers will be given tours of facilities and some of the campus. Their will be tutoring sessions for all on academics and more for all the ages. For the older kids there will be strength and conditioning exercise included in the session.

"Oh yeah," Holiday said about the work in the strength and conditioning. "All of our coaches will actually go and be involved with some strength and conditioning things that they should be doing at that age. We want to have all the girls and guys (to participate), if they can walk and want to have some fun, we would love to have them.

"No question, they will stay in the dorms and actually work out in the facilities our players work out in. They will be in The Swamp they will be on the practice field and all over the place. They will get to eat where our players eat. They will get the true Gator experience like our players do.

"We are going to bring in to a couple of our camps a guy that specializes in SAT testing and what is required as far as core GPA's and all that kind of thing. You know, it is probably just as important for the little bitty guys so we can get them off to a great start. So when they become players they know what to do with school. We will bring in a lot of people to talk about academics. We will bring in a guy to tell them exactly how to take the SAT. We have a lot of things planned and are real excited about it."

Despite little to no advertisement, the reception for all of the camp sessions has been taken well and Holliday encourages parents to sign their kids up soon. "We are filling up pretty quick," he said.

The subject has been broached about having a senior camp, but right now that is not an option. The thought for this coaching staff is that they will put all of their energy into teaching the kids that want to be here for these camps and then see where that leads them. They expect top talent from around the country to show and participate in the sessions they already have scheduled.

"We are not sure about that yet," he said about a Rising Senior Camp. "We are going to see how it goes with our other camps. At that point, if we feel like we have to do an upcoming senior camp, then that is what we will do. That is still in play and we are not sure what we will do with that right now."

You can get prices and more information on the camps at this website:

For any questions contact: Email or call 352-375-4683 x4100

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