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June 9, 2012

It’s Camp Time

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches,Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 8:40 am

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.

At least our players have mastered reading before matriculating:

link to

I quote Nocera:

“As for Dasmine Cathey, he told me that he was happy that he had gone to the University of Memphis. But he acknowledged that he “got more of a college experience than a college education.” Now working as a delivery man, he was determined to get those last few credits and graduate, he told me.

I congratulated him on learning to read. “Thanks,” he said. “The thing I have to work on now is understanding what I’m reading.”

Comment by steve1 06.09.12 @ 8:50 am

@ steve1, Mr. Cathey could have benefited if he possessed a slightly more voluminous vocabulary. His quote, I feel, was expressing a lack of “comprehension” which is a common issue when reading more complex literature, and his quote would surely have sounded less dumb with the substitution of just that one word. You could cut the guy some slack for that poor wording choice, right?

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.09.12 @ 9:58 am

Slack cut, Doc. But c’mon, illiterate as an incoming Freshman? I’ve heard of Remedial Algebra courses but not “Let’s Learn How to Read.”

Not what a college is for.

Comment by steve1 06.09.12 @ 10:18 am

Here’s a description of what is going on at PITT with these camps.

link to

And on another note I ran across this nugget of info – Chryst had five members of his 2011 Wisconsin offense drafted by the NFL this year…

link to

Comment by Reed 06.09.12 @ 2:12 pm

Steve – regardless of his ability to comprehend, and at least he was honest about that, how about this part of the article?

“He lives not on campus but in his aunt’s home nearby, where he helps raise his siblings, who were essentially abandoned by their mother. He has two children of his own (with different mothers). He uses his Pell grant money to help pay the household bills and often skips class because he has to drive a family member somewhere. It’s a lot for a college student to shoulder, but he doesn’t shirk it.”

How many kids in his position would walk away from that situation, live in the dorm and never look back.

My son id dating a young lady who grew up in a series of foster homes and was never diagnosed with a learning disability. My wife and I have gotten her into reading programs and have tutored her to the point where, while she doesn’t enjoy it yet, she can read what is necessary.

I did some research into this problem and it is mind-boggling how many adults are in that same situation. I have always thought that if a person learns to enjoy reading it is a firm first step into a good life.

Comment by Reed 06.09.12 @ 2:20 pm

We have a few blue-chippers there at the camps also – Foster is there, Johnson is supposed to attend and a very well thought of Dravon Henry out of Aliquippa is there. He’ll probably be a four star kid when the recruit rankings come out and PITT offered him last week – he may well be a Panther next year.

Here is a good highlight tape on him.

link to

Comment by Reed 06.09.12 @ 2:28 pm

^^^ I meant Henry may be a Panther in 2014.

Comment by Reed 06.09.12 @ 2:30 pm

A little off topic, but just watched Steve Adams sister, Valerie Adams win the womens shot put @ the Adidas Grand Prix track meet in NYC. She’s 6’4 and 200 plus lbs – WOW ! What a physical specimen and the Olympic favorite in London in 8 weeks !

Comment by ROCKY20 06.09.12 @ 4:27 pm

Reed, I’m sure you realize I’m not indicting the kid. Good for him.

“He is in college because, as one of his former coaches puts it, “He had all the tools you could ask for.” Football tools, that is.”

Comment by steve1 06.09.12 @ 5:25 pm

Thanks for the update on the Adams family.

Comment by a alcofan 06.09.12 @ 8:54 pm

These camps are part PR, part talent search, part networking but 100% work for the staff.

Spend 20 minutes with a guy and he can fool you. Spend a few days in the hit sun and you are going to get to know someone a bit better. It is like being on a small boat together.

Put it this way, Graham was everyone’s darling until the 20 minutes passed. That was during camp season.

Comment by SFPitt 06.10.12 @ 4:31 am

Also 4 star mlb al-rasheed benton was there and he said hes interested in pitt, too. As for dravon henry, id be shocked if he doesnt go to pitt

Comment by Pk 06.10.12 @ 8:25 am

Btw, travon chapman, 4 star dual threat qb from ohio, was on campus friday and said “i loved it” and “what a school”. He raved about it and pitts already in his top 5 so thats very promising.

Comment by Pk 06.10.12 @ 3:14 pm

Chapman’s reaction sounds promising. Any more visibility on how things went at camp? Hidden gems? Offers? Recruits closer to committing? Offensive linemen????

Comment by Atlanta Panther 06.11.12 @ 9:28 am

My son attended the camp on saturday and it was well worth the drive from maryland. The D-Line coaches were outstanding. The underclassman QB stole the show, great arm and ran 4.3 forty.

Comment by BE Nupe 06.12.12 @ 12:31 pm

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