For as much as trends come and go quickly in college sports, the elite camp seems to be holding steady as a valuable tool. By way of reminder, what’s an elite camp? It’s an on-campus event designed to get potential recruits on campus - unofficially, of course - to learn from and work with current staff members and players.
The South Dakota State football team held its annual elite camp Saturday and the men’s basketball team kicks off a couple different versions of that today.
Of note (aside from names of attendees):
The football camp featured about 180 players, a bump of roughly 30 over most recent years. The bulk of the participants hail from the Jackrabbits’ primary recruiting areas - South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska. Less than a handful had scholarship offers from SDSU prior to the one-day camp, meaning the evaluation opportunities should prove valuable - and not just for the Jacks. The camp brochure - in addition to highlighting the upcoming season’s schedule - points out that coaches from lower-level colleges would be on hand to observe and scout.
Likewise, SDSU will have coaches working at other people’s camps later this summer.
The men’s basketball camp is broken up by grades, upcoming juniors and seniors - about 60 of them - suiting up today followed later in the week by freshman and sophomores. Like football, very few outstanding offers in the bunch. But there should be some Wisconsin kids involved in the camps, creating an early opportunity to unofficially weigh the influence that new assistant Joe Krabbenhoft - a former Badgers standout - might have in that state.
"Some of the connections I’ve made in the basketball world both playing and coaching, I think I can help open some doors in different areas," Krabbenhoft said. "They’ve got a good thing going - I’m just coming in, learning the system and helping recruit kids that fit Coach Nagy’s mold."
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.