If there is one aspect to recruiting that hasn’t changed under Coach Paul Chryst, it is the value of having camps. June is all about camps at Pitt.
“The important thing for me is that every kid who comes to camp learns at least one thing he can take back with him to help him become a better football player,” Chryst said.
Pitt has one-day “prospect camps” today, Saturday and next weekend at Pitt’s UPMC South Side football facility.
The “Little Panthers” camp for ages 5 to 11 will be June 18-19 and there will be a “specialist” camp June 21.
The camp season ends with the passing camp and 7-on-7 tournament June 23-24. It attracts area schools from different levels and allows them to compete.
Coach Chryst can couch it in terms of teaching football, and how much he likes/loves that aspect to the camps. There is even an element of truth to it. But outside of the little kids football camp, the most important part of the camps is with regards to recruiting. It’s getting recruits to the campus and facilities. Getting a chance to evaluate the ones the coaches are not sure are good enough. It’s about getting kids who already hold offers to want to commit to Pitt. And of course it is about selling the coach and Pitt to people in the area.
“Obviously the recruiting piece, the evaluation part of it, is a big thing and it is good for us because we can see a lot of players,” Chryst said.
“But you limit yourself if that is the only thing you are focused on and that is the only thing you care about.
“We want to help kids become better football players, we want to get a chance to meet people in the community, meet high school coaches, meet parents — it is really a very enjoyable time.”
Based on early registration numbers, the overall number of campers for this year could be among the highest that Pitt has coached.
“I think there will be more than 2,000 players coming through our doors and coming to our camps in the next few weeks,” Chryst said.
All good stuff. And the interest is very encouraging to say the least. That said, Coach Chryst does need to get a few verbals out of this in addition to leaving really good impressions.