Camps vital in SEC recruiting

DESTIN, FL – Every time Florida's football coaching staff has a recruiting meeting, each assistant coach ranks his relationship with each players he is a recruiting on a scale of one through five.

 A five indicates the assistant coach knows the names and has spoken to the recruit's family and the family knows the names of and maybe even has spoken to the coach's family.

 "The fives are minimal," Gators head coach Urban Meyer said.

 It didn't used to be that way, Meyer said, but the NCAAs ban on text messaging has severely limited the amount of contact coaches have with recuits. Meyer estimated that by this time in the recruiting season two years ago he would have had 40 conversations with his team's top recruits thanks to text messaging.  Now the number is two, he said.

 "You have to pick up the slack, and that's going to be June," Meyer said.

 June means camps. Football coaches camps have long been an important of recruiting, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said, but they are becoming even more important as other means of communication are taken away.

 "It's important to get guys to your campus as much as you can, that's why it's important to get them to our camps," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said, "so you get to know them better so they are there for a day or two or three. You get to see how he responds to different situations."

The camps have always been vital to coaches, Richt said, but only have started getting publicity in recent years.

 "We always thought they were very, very important," he said. "They are always a big deal."

 Now that coaches are limited in their attendance of combines held by organizations such as, the camps are one of the few chances the coaches have to see a player put through specific drills right in front of them, Richt said.

 "You can get a kid in there and see him work, see him compete, see if he's coachable, and hopefully give him some things that will help him for his high school career," Richt said. "It's been a very good marriage, I think, for a long time."

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