Illini football will participate in 8 satellite camps in 4 states in 16 days

Illini will host eight satellite camps in four states next month, plus two camps on campus

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois has finalized plans to participate in two satellite camps in Florida, sources told, meaning the Illini will take part in eight satellite camps in four states during a 16-day span in June.

Multiple Illini coaches will participate in camps hosted by Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, June 17 and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, June 18.

Both are traditional powerhouse programs in talent-rich Florida, and Illinois has reccently signed three players from St. Thomas Aquinas: junior James Crawford and incoming freshmen James McCourt and Dominic Thieman. Running back Mike Epstein, a 2017 Illini commit, also plays at STA.

Illinois previously announced in-state satellite camps it will host at Chicago's Gately Stadium (June 3), Barrington High School (June 4) in the northern suburbs and Lincoln-Way East High School (June 4) in south suburban Mokena.

The Illini also will take part in a satellite camp in St. Louis (Trinity Catholic High School) on June 7 and two in Texas: at Lancaster High School near Dallas on June 8 and Thurgood Marshall High School near Houston on June 9. Satellite camps are a relatively new phenomenon in college football. Historically schools host camps on campus during the summer -- Illinois also will host two camps on campus next month -- partly as a means to get recruits on campus for visits and evaluation. Satellite camps allow coaches to take the show on the road. This is beneficial for coaches, who can widen their scope in specific recruiting areas and see prospects they normally wouldn't, and also beneficial to prospects, who may not be able to schedule or afford interstate travel.

Satellite camps have been a hot-button topic in college football this spring.

In early April, the NCAA Rules committee voted to place a ban on coaches traveling to off campus camps. The move was heavily criticized by recruits and certain college coaches, and the NCAA Board of directors overturned the ban, allowing college football coaches to attend satellite camps in the spring and summer of 2016 while the rule is under review.

“It’s a wise move by the NCAA," he said. "You can say it’s a good decision, but essentially, it’s just correcting a bad decision that was made early on, one that was short-sighted. This had really thrown a wrench into the plans of the recruits who had hoped to use the satellite camps to maximize their exposure with limited resources.  Now, they still have the chance to perform in front of coaches. This really helps those that don’t have unlimited resources to travel plus those prospects who live in hard-to-find places, giving them a chance to workout in one central location for a particular staff or a number of staffs, depending on the venue.  But it’s a win and the student-athlete benefits greatly, which is what should have been the focus from the get-go."

Illini football camp schedule

June 3 - Satellite camp at Chicago Gately Stadium

June 4 (a.m.) - Satellite camp at Barrington High School in Barrington, Ill. (north suburbs)

June 4 (p.m.) - Satellite camp at Lincoln-Way East High School in Mokena, Ill. (south suburbs)

June 7 - Satellite camp at Trinity High School in St. Louis (features prospects Larry BoydMarcus Washington and Isaiah Williams)

June 8 - Satellite camp at Lancaster High School near Dallas (features prospects Noah JonesCartrell Thomas and Treston Price)

June 9 - Satellite camp at Thurgood Marshall High School near Houston

June 12 - Showcase Camp and Big Man camp at Memorial Stadium (Champaign, Ill.)

June 15 - Specialist Camp at Memorial Stadium (Champaign, Ill.)

June 17 - Satellite camp at Plant High School in Tampa, Fla.

June 18 - Satellite camp at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (features prospects Mike Epstein, WR Joshua Palmer and more)

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