- Mitch Sherman, College Football
- 0 Shares
In the aftermath of Michigan’s unveiling last week of its Summer Swarm Tour, coaches in the South, predictably, have grown hot and bothered over the trend among Big Ten programs to stage satellite camps this offseason.
Nick Saban says satellite camps are “ridiculous.” Bobby Petrino and Dabo Swinney are not in favor of other coaches leaving their regions to work with high school players in an environment that figures to provide a recruiting advantage.
It’s understandable. The SEC and ACC prohibit their schools from taking advantage of the NCAA policy that lets these Big Ten coaches work as guests at camps administered by small college or high school programs.
Penn State coaches attended camps in Georgia and Florida last year. They’ll return to the road this summer. Nebraska is getting involved. Iowa, too, plans a camp in June near Chicago.
This advantage may be short-lived. The NCAA could soon close the loophole that allows for satellite camps; perhaps the SEC and ACC will drop the ban -- a scenario that could lead to a free-for-all, with coaches from dozens of major programs competing for time near every population center. Regardless, change to the current landscape is likely.
Greg Sankey, the incoming SEC commissioner, warns that the Big Ten programs ought to be careful for what they wish. Sankey, presumably joking, suggested the SEC might change its rules and set up a satellite camp in State College, Pennsylvania.
Bad strategy. Surely, Sankey understands Rule No. 1 of satellite-camp planning: Go to the top players. And with that in mind, we’re proposing Big Ten options for additional satellite camps this offseason.
Agree? Got a better idea? Let us know, using the hashtag #B1GFridayFive.
No. 1: Ohio State in Destin, Florida
The SEC enjoys this panhandle location so much, it only makes sense for the Big Ten to join the party. And no one better than Urban Meyer, the former top dog in Florida himself. Meyer, no doubt, could find a school in Destin willing to host his staff for a day of fun in late May – coincidentally in step with the SEC spring meetings in Destin, at which satellite camps will be a hot topic. If needed, Meyer could stop by the meetings to share his experiences. The Buckeyes landed QB Torrance Gibson out of Florida in their sixth-ranked recruiting class of 2015. Stars Vonn Bell and Joey Bosa came from SEC country. Who’s next? Maybe Meyer can find him in Destin.
No. 2: Michigan in New Orleans
Because we need to see Jim Harbaugh in the Big Easy. The Wolverines’ satellite-camp circuit already hits seven states in nine days, but it’s missing a stop in the recruiting hotbed of Louisiana. An addition to the schedule is required. Perhaps the camp could coincide with this. What could go wrong? Seriously, Michigan needs big offensive tackles to protect its future stable of Harbaugh-trained quarterbacks, and few better exist in the 2016 class than Willie Allen of New Orleans’ John Curtis High School. Here’s a chance to see Allen on his home turf.
No. 3: Nebraska in Birmingham, Alabama
In lieu of actually trying to enter Tuscaloosa or Auburn, which may not end well, a Big Ten team must try to get as close as possible. The Huskers are the best candidate. Why? Well, they’ve officially entered the game, with a camp set for Atlanta and others possibly in the works. Nebraska is not viewed as the threat it was once was, so locals might not react with hostility to this Big Ten invasion. And if all else fails, new coach Mike Riley is too nice to throw out of the state. And he attended Alabama, playing for Bear Bryant.
No. 4: Wisconsin in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex
Without a Texan on the current roster, the Badgers are trying to expand their recruiting horizons into the Lone Star State. Wisconsin signed running back Jordan Stevenson out of Dallas in February. It opens the 2015 season at AT&T Stadium against Alabama. So why not get a head start on building a fan base? If Jerry World isn’t available for the camp, a litany of high school programs possess the facility to host the Wisconsin coaches. Potential exists for the Badgers in Texas; coach Paul Chryst received his first full-time coaching job in San Antonio, and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda got his master’s degree at Texas Tech.
No. 5: Big Ten Battle Royale in Pasadena, California
Look, the Big Ten needs to make the most of this situation with satellite camps while it exists. Think big. Think Rose Bowl. Think three coaches from every Big Ten team, hosted by Pasadena City College on Fourth of July weekend – Friday night and Saturday. Think about televising the whole thing. Yeah, it's hard to imagine this event would pass as legal, but let me dream. Envision Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio on the same field, working with coveted prospects; Meyer coaching alongside James Franklin. Riley reunited with Chryst. This could make for the best fireworks show on the West Coast. What top recruit from Southern California would turn down an invite?
The staging of satellite camps could be short-lived, so we're proposing Big Ten options for additional satellite camps this offseason.